Flashback: Usain Bolt Showed More Respect for America’s Anthem than Gwen Berry

Gwen Berry
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt once stopped a television interview to honor America during the playing of the U.S. national anthem at the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

Shown in the clip, Bolt, an Olympic sprinter who has won eight gold medals, stopped the interview briefly to listen to the Star-Spangled Banner in silence with the Jamaican flag draped across his back.

“Could you cut the interview? Is it live,” Bolt asked the interviewer, pointing into the stadium to signal he wanted to listen. Following the playing of the national anthem, Bolt continued the interview.

Unlike Bolt, Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry, a member of the U.S. Olympic team, has faced extreme scrutiny after she turned away from the American flag during the playing of the national anthem after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics during trials in Oregon last week.

Certain members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) have both expressed distaste with Berry’s actions and called for her removal from the team.

“I don’t think it’s too much, when athletes are competing to wear the Stars and Stripes — to compete under the Stars and Stripes in the Olympics — for them to simply honor that flag and our anthem on the medal stand,” Cotton told Fox News Primetime.

“If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country,” Cotton added. “She should be removed from the Olympic team.”

According to Crenshaw, “the entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America.”

“It’s one thing when these NBA players do it, OK fine, we’ll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And it’s multiple cases of this,” Crenshaw said. “They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement is that you believe in the country representing.”

Following the trials, Berry told reporters that she was “set up” with the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

“I feel like it was a set-up, and they did it on purpose,” Berry said of the anthem being played. “I was pissed, to be honest.”

“The anthem doesn’t speak for me,” Berry added. “It never has. I didn’t really want to be up there. Like I said, it was a setup. I was hot, I was ready to take my pictures and get into some shade.”

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