Through the first week of the Rio Games, it's been moving to see so much of what's lately been generating anxieties at home contribute so powerfully to U.S. preeminence on the international stage. If race, gender, immigration and even our definitions of success are dividing us as citizens and voters, they're uniting us, if only temporarily, as fans of Team USA.
In the women's gymnastics competition, our national strength comes from diversity.
Reigning world champion Simone Biles, gold medalist in the individual and team all-around competitions, is African American, as is Gabby Douglas, who won gold medals in those events at the 2012 London Olympics. Laurie Hernandez is Puerto Rican, and the team is rounded out by two white gymnasts, Aly Raisman, who is Jewish, and Madison Kocian.
This lineup stands out in a political season animated by a dark winner-take-all mentality suggesting that success for one group of Americans can come only at the expense of another.