"In order to become a naturalized US citizen, a person has to renounce their citizenship to their previous country."
This is not true.
To become a naturalized citizen, you need to take a "Oath of Allegiance" in which you renounce other allegiances". This is not the same a renouncing you citizenship.The United State recognizes dual citizenship and allows it (Arnold Schwarzenegger was a dual citizen while he was governor of California).
I agree with you that lots of people want to go to the Olympics but I sure hope he doesn't try to play it both ways.
I have no problem with him competing for Mexico but do have a problem with him if he competes for Mexico this time and then say the US in 4 years.
If his dream is to represent the US in the Olympics, then he shouldnt' run for Mexico this time.
It would sort of be like a HS recruit saying, "Yes. I really love you you Mr. third-tier d1 coach and I can't wait to run for you but I'm going to transfer out to oregon the moment they'll take me."
Now that the Olympics is big, big money, I know this is very hard on the Olympians but people need to stand up for something. If you are going to switch, be willing to sit out.
Wilson Kipketer changed and sat an Olympics.
Bernard Lagat competed for Kenya while a citizen of the US which to me is completely ludicrous.[/quote]
I agree with all of your points, the most important one is you can't have it both ways. Having the opportunity to compete in the Olympics is difficult to pass up and I am Diego is conflicted. - Although, I personally don't understand showing loyality to a country that has played absolutely no part in your running growth and developement, but that is just me.
How many athletes can you name who have dual citizenship and are choosing to compete for Team USA? Not just "of Mexican descent."
I can name about a dozen pole vaulters who are US citizens and are competing for other countries. I do not know a single pole vaulter who is a dual citizen and competing for Team USA. Maybe it's different in other events like distance running that have more support in the US, I don't know...
During the Athens Olympics, many Americans competed for Greece because they had Greek heritage. Mostly in events like baseball. As host, the Greeks got automatic entry to a lot of events they had no participants for. So they found others of "greek heritage" to fill the spots.
Bernard Lagat was not a citizen when he competed for Kenya. He was in the process. He become a citizen after the trials which meant he couldn't run the US trials and run for the US at the time. It was all timing. And If they don't let you compete now, what do you do? Sit out for 4 years and see if anything happens. Diego is going to run for Mexico because it will favor him with his running career and give him experience once he is allowed to compete in a USA singlet. Running at the Olympics will give him a better bargaining position for a shoe contract and other endorsements. Instead of sitting around working a full-time job and training full-time also. Be realistic. He needs a sponsor and this is the best way to get it.
Can someone tell me why Diego wouldn't be able to run the US Olympic Trials?
1) New citizens of a country can compete immediately if they have lived in the country for 2 years prior to citizenship and have not competed for another country.
Diego seems to fit that rule. According to Running Times he didn't run in Daegu so he could run for the US:
"He'd run the world championships "B" qualifying time for the 5,000m, and Mexico offered him the opportunity to compete in Daegu. Estrada was torn, saying, "I was looking forward to representing Mexico at a world champs, but when I got selected for Daegu, I realized that if I took that opportunity, I would have to sit out three years before I could represent the U.S. That's when I took a step back and decided to [decline Mexico's offer to run in Daegu] and start my citizenship process." Estrada became a U.S. citizen on Oct. 28."
He is correct. If he runs for Mexico he can't run for the US for 3 years.
So can someone tell me why he would be ineligible for the US Trials?
He can choose to run for whatever country he wants but if he could run the Trials and is not because he wants to go to the Olympics for Mexico that is different than saying he couldn't run the Trials.
In the Flotrack interview he makes it sound like he couldn't run the Trials saying, "We couldn't get me eligible for the Trials and there was a lot of politics." I think he then adds: "And I had a suspension (not sure of this word) a lot of athletes go through".
That is at the 15 second mark of this interview:
He then adds:
"I apologize for anyone who is upset but that is my American dream being an Olympian... I had to do what I had to do. I had to chase the American dream"
I never thought of the "American dream" as running the Olympics for Mexico but it shows America really is the land of opportunity. It's Diego's dream and it came possible in America. It's not like he's representing some country he has no connection too.
I am curious how he could be possibly ineligible for the US Trials.
Here are two articles from his local paper:
Neither mentions being ineligible for the US Trials.
"But there was a lot of doubt if we were going to get the paperwork done in time (for Mexico). It was pretty stressful."
"Estrada's time also qualified him for the U.S. Olympic Trials. But with an automatic spot on the Mexican national team, he chose to run for his country of origin."
So had Diego represented Mexico before and did that make him ineligible for the US Trials? Or is he eligible for the Trials and choosing not to run them so he can run for Mexico in the Olympics?
Here's a question I hadn't thought of. Technically could Diego run the US Trials and still run for Mexico at the Olympics?
The rules bar athletes from competing for a country for 3 years if they have run for another country in "in an International Competition". The US Trials don't seem be an "International Competition" so maybe Diego wanted to run the US Trials, see if he made the team, and then try and run for Mexico? And Mexico said, "No".
I'm just throwing it out there as he said "politics" were involved and I don't see why he couldn't run the US Trials or the politics.
This is a silly non issue. He should compete for who he wants to. He should take his opportunities. Hell, Gary Fanelli competed in the 1988 Olympics for America Samoa!!! The whole idea of the nation state in this global world is becoming more and more archaic anyway. You should find something else to complain about.
I think he should compete for Mexico. That will at least drum up some interest with Mexicans for the sport. The US trials have become so competitive it doesn't make sense to race here when you have a MUCH better shot in your dual citizenship country.
If he is legitimately a dual citizen, I don't have a problem. I do have a problem with countries recruiting athletes and offering them citizenship so that they can compete in the Olympics, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
It would be interesting to see what the totals are at the Olympics this summer for athletes who are dual American/something else and are competing for another country ("plastic Brits, etc) or who were NCAA athletes. The US does a lot of training for the athletes of other countries.
I deleted my most recent post as I have an update thanks to the USATF legal department.
Rule 5b was changed again on March 12. Now athletes have to wait 1 year after getting citizenship unless they actually live in the country. So it would seem to me Diego could have run the Trials as I don't think he's ever run for Mexico. Correct me if I'm wrong.
(b) a Citizen of the Country (or Territory) through the acquisition of a new Citizenship
but, in such a case, he may represent his new Member no earlier than one year
following the date of acquisition of new Citizenship pursuant to the athlete’s
application. This period of one year may be reduced or cancelled as set out
(i) the period shall be cancelled if the athlete has completed one continuous
year of Residence in the Country (or Territory) immediately preceding the
International Competition in question;
(ii) the period may be reduced or cancelled in exceptional cases by the Council.
An application for a reduction or cancellation must be submitted by the
relevant Member in writing to the IAAF Office at least 30 days before the
International Competition in question.
Merely speculating here, but maybe his "selection" to Daegu for Mexico even though he declined and did not run caused a problem. Or...the "help" he has received from the mexican team over the years - whatever that help was.
He mentioned politics several times. So it sounds like things were happening behind the scene that we are just not aware of.
Personally, I say good for him. He's worked hard and improved a lot over the past 2 years. I'd never have predicted a 27:32 for him this year.
|Holy smokes Shaggy|
Or is it sort of like saying. "Yes. I really love you you Mr. [Maine] coach and I can't wait to run for you but I'm going to transfer out to [Oklahoma] after I compete hard and represent your school wonderfully for 3 years"
More like a HS recruit saying "Yes, I really want to run for you at Oregon but I am not academically eligible. So I'm gonna go to this junior college/NAIA school for a year and run there instead of sitting out at your school and transfer in."
In my opinion, you'd have a better point if he had a choice. But he isn't avoiding competition or choosing Mexico over the US; he isn't eligible to run for the US, and the fact that he might want to run for the US in 4 years or 8 years shouldn't prevent him from trying to compete in the Olympics this year. A lot can happen over the next 4 years.
|Omlette du fromage|
Which did generate a Benedict Arnold comment from LR on the front page, so at least LR is editorially consistent.
Did this guy really graduate high school with a 2:03 800 and a 4:20 1600? Gives me hope! I was also born in mexico at altitude and raised in CA! I don't know if I have dual citizenship! Will look into it :)
What a great guy Diego Estrada seems to be! I only wish the racism & xenophobia that is so common in America & on this messageboard didn't make him feel the need to apologize profusely throughout the video! There is no shame in being both Mexican and American - he should be proud of his dual heritage & citizenship. Best of luck to him running under the flag of his birth & the country of his parents & grandparents. I would welcome him back with open arms should he qualify in future to represent the stars & stripes.
It's racist stuff like this that really bugs me: