The 1 sport where the U.S. is getting pummeled on an Olympic scale.

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 1.34.04 PM

 

You didn’t have a hard time following the Olympics, did you?

 

I don’t mean the actual events.

Some events were hard to follow. The racing events are fairly straightforward – even the ones that combine cross-country skiing and firearms.

 

 

And I don’t mean the sledding events.

The luge and the skeleton.

Can’t we challenge these athletes to do both these events?

 

Are the requisite skills that different? 

My kids do both with relative ease….

 

Let’s not even get into curling.

 

What I mean to ask is: Did you have a hard time understanding any Olympic athletes when they were interviewed?

 

 

If you spoke English – no, you didn’t.

You understood everyone clearly.

 

 

If language skills were an Olympic event, Americans would be the Jamaican bobsled team.

 

2601544POLYM2-MANBOBSLEIGHX_crop_north

 

 

Likeable.

Humorous.

So bad you actually contemplated gaining Jamaican residency and becoming an Olympian yourself.

 

 

That’s how bad the U.S. would fare in Olympic bilingualism.

Including Sign Language.

And Pig Latin.

 

 

It seemed like every single Olympian spoke English.

 

Tina Maze, the Slovenian downhill racer, not only speaks English, she has a pop single in English. It’s tearing up the Slovenian charts.

 

949671-15631948-640-360

 

 

Make all the jokes you want about Putin and the fact that Russians adore male figure skaters, but Evgeni Plushenko did a triple lutz sow cow with a slipped disc in his back… and then gave an interview in English immediately afterwards.

 

And then you’ve got the Russian cop choir. They sang an entire ridiculous song in English.

Even non-Olympian, Russian beat cops know English!

 

lead_large

 

 

As for the U.S.?

 

Micheal Phelps, the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time, was studying Chinese.

 

Brilliant!

I’m sure it was his agent’s idea.

 

If Phelps can grasp the opportunity available in the world’s largest market, why aren’t other U.S. athletes?

Can you imagine the earning power available to LeBron James if he learned to speak Mandarin or Cantonese?

 

He’d be a younger, dunking Warren Buffett.

He could buy the NBA with a million tube socks full of renminbi.

 

LeBron could join Phelps, swimming in a giant pool of international currency like a multilingual Scrooge McDuck.

 

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 1.32.03 PM

 

By the next Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, I’d love to see one American break out the local language.

We better hurry – I heard the Jamaican bobsled team is already taking language lessons….

 

 

 

Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry.    

If you enjoyed this post and would be interested in other related content, subscribe to our monthly Newsletter – the Red Angle Revista. Once a month, no fluff, no sales pitches. Just ideas and language skills to help you run a better job.

Advertisements


Categories: Construction Spanish

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: