Tomorrow's the day, friends, when we begin the quadrennial sixteen days of
sitting on our asses in front of the TV glory, the only time we ever get to see the likes of Greco-Roman wrestling or skeet shooting or synchronized swimming. (Who cares that synchronized swimming is a dumb excuse for a "sport"? If you've ever been a seven-year-old girl horsing around in a swimming pool, you will know what it is to dream of the synchronized swimming gold.)
You can, of course, sign on with Team Phelps or Team Lochte, or choose your favorite athlete based on his or her abs or quads, or buy into that great myth that We Are All Americans and any victory for Team USA is a victory for us all. (If you happened to grow up during the Cold War, you may feel an automatic vestigial hatred for every Russian or Chinese athlete who prances across your screen.)
But part of being American is taking pride in your home state and asserting that it is superior to every other state in the whole damned country. This is true, even if you are not from Texas. And so, Daily RFT, ever eager to be of service to our dear readers, has a list of all the Missouri athletes, all nine of 'em, plus a handful from downstate Illinois -- the only Olympic athletes worth rooting for, if they ever make it onto the prime time schedule.
Brittany Borman, of Festus -- javelin Christian Cantwell, of Eldon (sort of near Jeff City) -- shot put Lori Chalupny, of St. Louis -- soccer Spenser Mango, of St. Louis -- Greco-Roman wrestling Chantae McMillan, of Rolla -- heptathlon Michael Rodgers, of St. Louis -- track, 4x100 m relay pool (which means he may not get to run, but let's root for him) Becky Sauerbrunn, of St. Louis -- soccer
and also Maurice Mitchell, of Kansas City -- track, 200 m Matt Tegenkamp, of Lee's Summit -- track, 10,000 m
Lance Brooks, of Springfield -- discus throw Kelci Bryant, of Chatham (near Springfield) -- 3 m synchronized diving Dawn Harper, of East St. Louis -- 100 m hurdles Andre Iguodola, of Springfield -- basketball Gia Lewis-Smallwood, of Champaign -- discus throw Tyler McGill, of Champaign -- 100 m butterfly