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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ice dancing, motherhood, and the American flag

It's rather like a soap opera with a dash of politics thrown in.

Tanith Belbin, resident alien, and Ben Agosto, U.S. citizen, is the team that provides the United States with the best chance of medalling in ice dancing at the 2006 Olympics in a couple months. Tanith, a Canadian, applied for U.S. citizenship in 1999, but the process is such that she wouldn't be an American until it was too late for the Games.

A member of Congress wrote legislation allowing Tanith's citizenship process to be expedited. However, the mother of one of the other competitors complains to her Senator, one Hillary Clinton, to the effect that a foreign national should not be given special treatment. Ironically, the only reason that the U.S. will have three ice dancing teams instead of two at the Olympics is that a team skating for the United States came in second at the World Championships. That team? Belbin and Agosto, of course. (The Worlds have different criteria for nationality than the Olympics.)

The legislation, which was attached to another bill, was defeated, but Tanith and Ben have hope that the item will revived and attached to another bill.

Will Tanith Belbin gain her citizenship before January 10, the deadline for picking the Olympic teams?

Will Ben Agosto recover from the painful injury that is keeping them out of competition in Japan this week?

Will Belbin and Agosto be on the Olympic team?

Will David Mitchell (the son of the complaining mother) and his partner make the team, with or without the competition of Belbin and Agosto?


Roger Owen Green said...

I blame my wife being an ice skating fan for this post.

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Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the mother of the U.S. athlete who was targeted by the rabid crazed Tanith Belbin fans, her inner circle, and the crazed skating nazis over at Figure Skating Universe.
Tanith Belbin is no true american this team in fact flip flopped between whether or not she gets american citizenship or he gets canadian. They based their decision on geography and convenience.
Tanith honey couldn't even hold the american flag properly. She's very tacky as well as hopelessly stupid. Rumour has it she's quite the puck bunny as well.

Anonymous said...

The last post is absolutely untrue. Tanith and Ben chose to represent the US beginning in 1999, and there was no flip-flopping. In fact, at the time they chose to represent the US, the shortest avenue to the Olympics and international success was through Canada. The US already had a top team (Lang and Tchernyshev) and a rising second team (Silverstein and Pekarek). Ultimately, the decisive factor was that Ben's father, a Vietnam veteran, strongly opposed his son skating for any another country. (My source on this are members of both families.)

Anonymous said...

This goes to show you its who you know. People get special treatment in many cases, like Madonna or Angelina Jolie when adopting foreign children. I know couples where it took years before they could get an adopted child from a foreign country, but with them it seems like they got the children in a week...simply not fair. We give credence to the celebrities in this country, which is wrong.

Even when you go to the government site,, seems like its easy and fast to gain citizenship, but years back when I got it, it took years before I got citizenship.

I guess my point is that we need IMMIGRATION REFORM, once and for all.