Author Topic: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."  (Read 2322 times)

immattdamon

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"I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« on: February 19, 2018, 10:05:27 AM »
As I've been watching the Olympics, I've seen several athletes who basically became citizens in different countries, seemingly only so they could compete in the Olympics in 2018.  Like, one guy who was born in Utah competed for South Korea, and he didn't previously have any connection to that country.  I'm still trying to sort my feelings about this... my gut reaction is that it sure seems like being an American didn't mean much to him, that it was disposable, and that makes him somehow less of a person... At the same time, historically, I'm not convinced that jingoism has been a net positive for the world; I think it probably has not. 

A few minutes ago, I suggested that someone in the US who's concerned about future healthcare costs should consider trying to get Canadian citizenship as a way to reduce the volatility of those future costs. 

So here's question 1: Ethically and morally, is gaming the citizenship system any different in nature than executing a Roth IRA conversion ladder?

*I don't want the word "gaming" to be too distracting here -- I'm not suggesting anything illegal is being done, so feel free to substitute the word "optimizing" in its place. 

Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?   

Zamboni

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 10:16:56 AM »
1. Nope.

2. Nope . . . citizenship is a human construct. And God? She absolutely does not care if your passport is South Korean or Canadian.

NotJen

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 10:26:44 AM »
Why does where I'm born have anything to do with anything, really?

I get that the world is divided into countries, and each has it's own rules, which lends some "meaning" to where I'm born.  But aren't we always trending towards a more global society?  It's so easy to travel anywhere, to stay connected and get information.  What's the use in dividing people using arbitrary lines?

I think it's great to love where you're from (I certainly do), but I don't get the rancor (things I've heard in my daily life, not from strangers online) about athletes who choose to play for other countries.  As long as they are following the rules for the sport/competition, and the rules of citizenship, etc.  Who cares?  Good for them.

Malkynn

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 10:27:20 AM »
ďless of a personĒ ?

Harsh.

big_slacker

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 10:27:49 AM »
Really depends on the situation. Did he move just to check a box and say he's an olympian and then goes back to UT after the games? Or does he plan on really relocating, playing a bigger part in sport, coaching, etc. Meaning really contributing. If the former he's lame as fuck, the latter just fine.

#2, which of the kajillion deities are you talking about? They're all made up so it doesn't matter anyway. :D /troll

ketchup

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 10:33:58 AM »
Why does where I'm born have anything to do with anything, really?

I get that the world is divided into countries, and each has it's own rules, which lends some "meaning" to where I'm born.  But aren't we always trending towards a more global society?  It's so easy to travel anywhere, to stay connected and get information.  What's the use in dividing people using arbitrary lines?

I think it's great to love where you're from (I certainly do), but I don't get the rancor (things I've heard in my daily life, not from strangers online) about athletes who choose to play for other countries.  As long as they are following the rules for the sport/competition, and the rules of citizenship, etc.  Who cares?  Good for them.
+1.  It seems like a fuss over nothing.

As for the second question, I don't think Ted Danson cares about your citizenship shuffling one single bit.

Cromacster

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 10:42:42 AM »
It happens quite a bit for the Olympics.  I would think it's because the host country wants to see their country represented in as many sports as possible.  Host countries recruit because they get guaranteed and/or lower standards in many events.  So if they don't have an athlete at a high level they look for other athletes that didn't make their own Olympic team.

Pigeon

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 10:50:27 AM »
Different countries and sporting organizations have different rules.  I read an article  about a US born woman who is a spectacularly bad snowboarder (as these people go), who is at the Olympics competing for Hungary and the way she went about it is evidently fine according to the rules.  While I enjoy the Olympics, I don't really think they matter in the grand scheme of things.  If it's OK with her, with the snowboarding organization and with Hungary, I certainly don't give a hoot what she does.

God?  If I believed in a god, I wouldn't believe in one who spent a nanosecond thinking about sports.


Chrissy

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 10:54:57 AM »
This was the first year I really noticed USA citizens representing other countries.  But then I thought about it:

1)  I'm not aware of any laws that say you have to be born here or have citizenship to compete for us in the Olympics, so why should it be different in other places? 

2)  I do assume the USA recruits from other countries for our teams, so turnabout is fair play.

3)  The athlete(s) in question might still be a US citizen.  Dual citizenship exists, so they didn't necessarily "dispose" of being American.

4)  Just like people come from all over the world to the US for opportunity, and we're proud of that, why shouldn't we be proud of someone who grabbed an opportunity elsewhere?

Ultimately, I decided there was no moral or ethical question about any of it.

As for God...  I can't imagine he even recognizes individual countries as a thing, so the whole idea of citizenship (and whatever games we might play with it) is probably silly to Him.

trollwithamustache

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 11:19:14 AM »
The Olympics are, right or wrong, for professional athletes.  There is this odd veneer of amateurism that many observers seem to cling too. 

These are all full time athletes with full time coaches.

Moustachienne

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 11:36:57 AM »
Elite athletes go wherever they can in order to get a chance to compete and good on them.  The chances are so rare.  The irony is that sporting events like the Olympics are all about "country" results - and we all enjoy cheering for our country.  No harm, no foul as long as we recognize these for what they are - games.

See this Dutch born guy who won a speed skating gold for Canada - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted-Jan_Bloemen

Or the Russian born woman who won a gold for Slovakia in biathlon - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2018-biat-w-ms/biathlon-kuzmina-finally-gets-her-gold-in-mass-start-idUSKCN1G10GZ

I really like these stories of people cut from their original national teams who find a new country/team and kick butt!

Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 11:43:09 AM »
If we still followed an actual concept of what citizenship means, then yes, changing citizenship would be absurd.

But since we live in an ever more globalized, homogenized world where countries are more economic units that cohesive nations, I'd say go ahead and play the game any way you want.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 11:49:22 AM by thesvenster »

GuitarStv

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2018, 12:23:54 PM »
Citizenship is used by countries to execute the social contract.  So, as a citizen of a country you should benefit from the roads/schools/military and police protection/health care/environmental regulation and you should remit to the country the taxes that pay for all of the above.  That's it.  There's nothing in there that matters regarding sports.  :P

netskyblue

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 12:31:21 PM »
I'm of the (somewhat unpopular) opinion that anybody should be free to choose what country they'd like to be a citizen of, as long as they can demonstrate an understanding of and willingness to obey the laws of the land they've chosen.

I dunno what birthplace should have to do with anything.  Nor do I understand why being born somewhere should inspire any kind of pride.  Being born, and where, was 100% not the person's choice or accomplishment.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2018, 12:41:34 PM »
I have to differentiate between different acts. Are you gaining new citizenship and renouncing (properly) your old citizenship (the U.S. often does not acknowledge renouncing citizenship as part of another country's oath of citizenship), are you gaining multiple citizenships and/or permanent residencies? Are you changing on a whim or after associating the totality of the circumstances?

As to

1) If everything is legal, then it is no different, legally, than any other legal act including Roth IRA ladders. When it comes to ethics and morals, who's do you use to judge U.S.? French? Russian? Christian? Buddhist? And even if we could settle on a universal set of ethic and morals (or even just a set to use for the hypothetical)wouldn't the determination as to the ethically or morality have more to do with the motivation than the act itself?

To me, citizenship is nothing more than a contract between a society/it's government and it's members/citizen. One should be able to shed it freely (though some countries may not be so willing to let individuals go) and should be able to gain it so long as both parties agree. As to the morality of the act, I would have a different opinion of the morality/ethicacy (based on my own personal set) of someone changing citizenship because their views on things such as healthcare and intervention in other countries more closely aligned with their new citizenship as compared to someone who chose to change citizenship based upon their desire to take advantage of something like a ridiculously low age of consent law; but, there is a lot in between that really is of no interest or bother to me.

2) If one has no faith does this question become moot or does the answer change based upon one's god? Did a God create the world with countries in it or are they are creation of human free will? Did a god place you in a country or did human free will result in your birth? If a country were to fragment, such as the former U.S.S.R. or Korea, or to be annexed into another, such as Crimea, does that legal change of citizenship offend a god?

Even your question uses legal citizenship. Almost every religion has as set of behavioral rules, which is what the god of that religion is usually concerned with, not the laws of man as set out by a country of citizenship (which can differ from those restrictions of a religion, likely more permissive). Now, the god of a state run church/religion, may view changing of citizenship very differently.

netskyblue

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2018, 01:47:52 PM »
I'm of the (somewhat unpopular) opinion that anybody should be free to choose what country they'd like to be a citizen of, as long as they can demonstrate an understanding of and willingness to obey the laws of the land they've chosen.

I dunno what birthplace should have to do with anything.  Nor do I understand why being born somewhere should inspire any kind of pride.  Being born, and where, was 100% not the person's choice or accomplishment.

Would you also say, then, that it would be quite silly for an American sitting at home watching the Olympics to feel any sense of pride or satisfaction when a fellow American wins a Gold medal?  (Not a rhetorical question; interested in your opinion)

Yeah, actually I feel that way about spectating in general.  If I'm not playing, and I don't personally know anyone that's playing, I don't see what difference it makes who wins.  Unless there's money riding on it, I guess.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2018, 01:50:07 PM »
As a Canadian ex-pat, retiring in Canada or the US is a decision I'll have to make eventually.

I believe that there are definitely people who get Canadian citizenship so for the health care. I think it's something that Canada is sensitive to and they periodically make getting citizenship harder in some cases (i.e. I believe that it recently became harder to become a citizen for people born elsewhere to with only one Canadian parent or to people with Canadian grand parents).

I think that the ethical question is a bit trickier. Ultimately, what your asking is whether it's OK for you to get "free" health care without having contributed to the system (or at least paying significantly less). Unlike the US, Canadians pay for health care through their income and VAT taxes (i.e. it's not free). So, moving to Canada in when you're older (heavy user of healthcare) without paying in during your earnings years could be viewed as being unethical. I think that this argument is probably stronger if it's applied to someone that could pay for their own services by working until 40 instead of retiring at 35.

For people considering this, you might be in for a bit of a surprise for what "free" Canadian health care is like (especially for older people). Since healthcare is a scarce resource it has to be rationed in some way. Here's my opinion on how it's rationed: In the US, it's more supply and demand so you get what you can pay for. In Canada, it's more about using different methods for different patients. My understanding is that if a 25 year old and a 75 YO have the same condition, more resources will generally be expended for the 25 YO.

Anecdotal evidence (arguably not evidence at all): Another ex-pat friend of mine is a doctor in the US. His grandfather (still in Canada) passed away not too long ago. I remember him saying how he would have received far more treatment if he would have been in the US. Instead, he was given more hospice style care (i.e. made comfortable) instead of more active treatment to try to maximize his life span. I'd probably argue that the US needs to adopt this style of healthcare to try to get a handle on runaway inflation in healthcare, but I'm still on the "younger" side and I might be more interested in getting treatment to maximize my life span as I get older. I think my best bet for that would be to be in the US.

Also, I think that it's tougher to find access high quality health care (and doctors) outside of the three big population centers in Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver). Part of the reason for the care in the example above may be that the patient lived outside of these areas. Living in Toronto and Vancouver is pretty expensive (might be more expensive than living in a LCOL state in the US and buying health insurance). My sense is that it would be easier to find good services outside of HCOL in the US vs. Canada.

Also as someone who moved from Canada to the US, pretty much everything is more expensive in Canada (and there's more tax on top of the sticker price). So, even if you saved on health care your total annual spending might be less if you stayed in the US.

Q2: I don't think God cares about the Olympics, borders, countries, or citizenship. But, I don't have a source with first hand information here.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 01:55:13 PM by NorthernBlitz »

I'm a red panda

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2018, 01:53:36 PM »
This was the first year I really noticed USA citizens representing other countries.  But then I thought about it:

1)  I'm not aware of any laws that say you have to be born here or have citizenship to compete for us in the Olympics, so why should it be different in other places? 

2)  I do assume the USA recruits from other countries for our teams, so turnabout is fair play.

3)  The athlete(s) in question might still be a US citizen.  Dual citizenship exists, so they didn't necessarily "dispose" of being American.

4)  Just like people come from all over the world to the US for opportunity, and we're proud of that, why shouldn't we be proud of someone who grabbed an opportunity elsewhere?

Ultimately, I decided there was no moral or ethical question about any of it.

As for God...  I can't imagine he even recognizes individual countries as a thing, so the whole idea of citizenship (and whatever games we might play with it) is probably silly to Him.

The Olympics require citizenship for the country you represent.
And the US absolutely has athletes who previously had other citizenship representing them.
One example is Tanith Belbin. She required an act of Congress to grant her citizenship because otherwise it would have been past the deadline (she got caught in some red tape after 9-11, normally she would have had plenty of time).

In figure skating, it is extremely common for athletes to switch countries; especially in pairs and dance. It is SO hard to find a partner.  But there is also a lot of country swapping for slightly lower ranked skaters in the big countries, because it lessens the competition to get to the Olympics if you aren't skating for US or Russia or Canada.

There are very few places where it is easy to get citizenship though. You certainly couldn't switch to Canada just for healthcare.  The skaters I can think of (Lubov Il... can't spell it don't have time to look it up- from Russia, not currently at the Olympics, and Kaitlyn Weaver and Keegan Messing- from the US) had to prove their exception merit as athletes, and meet the other citizenship requirements.  Bruno Masset (previously of France) just won a Gold medal from Germany- it took him 3 or 4 tries to pass the language test for citizenship; plus the German federation had to pay something like $30k euros to the French federation to replace training costs! (But that's an ISU issue not a citizenship one)


Most countries don't require renouncing your previous citizenship; but some do. For example- Japan. So Yuka Kavaguti (formerly  Kawaguchi, but it was "russian-ized) had to give up her Japanese citizenship when she started skating for Russia. It apparently will not be easy for her to get the Japanese citizenship back.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 01:57:34 PM by iowajes »

Cromacster

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2018, 03:20:51 PM »
Just came across another case which is pretty hilarious.

https://deadspin.com/the-winter-olympics-feature-2-951-of-the-world-s-greate-1823138678



Quote
The 33-year-old American has been freestyle skiing since 2013 with the single-minded goal of making it to the Olympics. Since the American team is, well, good, she initially competed for her motherís native Venezuela, before switching her allegiance and representing Hungary, which she was eligible to do because of Hungarian grandparents. Swaney canít throw a single trick in the halfpipe, and she can barely catch any air to speak of, but that doesnít matter, since the real competitive portion of her Olympics came before she even traveled to South Korea, as she worked her way onto the team in an effort that was something between a scam and a tale of perseverance.

tl;dr To get to the Olympics she needed to place top 30 in several international competitions in the womens ski halfpipe.  She traveled around the world to events where there were fewer than 30 entrants or hoped other competitors would screw up or withdraw.

crispy

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2018, 03:36:56 PM »
Just came across another case which is pretty hilarious.

https://deadspin.com/the-winter-olympics-feature-2-951-of-the-world-s-greate-1823138678



Quote
The 33-year-old American has been freestyle skiing since 2013 with the single-minded goal of making it to the Olympics. Since the American team is, well, good, she initially competed for her motherís native Venezuela, before switching her allegiance and representing Hungary, which she was eligible to do because of Hungarian grandparents. Swaney canít throw a single trick in the halfpipe, and she can barely catch any air to speak of, but that doesnít matter, since the real competitive portion of her Olympics came before she even traveled to South Korea, as she worked her way onto the team in an effort that was something between a scam and a tale of perseverance.

tl;dr To get to the Olympics she needed to place top 30 in several international competitions in the womens ski halfpipe.  She traveled around the world to events where there were fewer than 30 entrants or hoped other competitors would screw up or withdraw.

That's kinda awesome...and really hilarious.

I'm a red panda

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2018, 05:44:37 PM »
This reminds me of a book I enjoyed. Katherine Bertine "Good as Gold".
Basically a former (non Olympic) figure skater accepted an assignment from ESPN to try to make a summer Olympic team, in any sport. She didn't, but fell in love with cycling. So then she tried to find a country she could qualify for the Olympics with and became a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis. Even still, it's super hard to make the Olympics as an individual athlete in a team sport, so she didn't. But she's been a profession cyclist and has helped St. Kitts cycling program since.

Good quick read if anyone likes books

GuitarStv

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2018, 06:09:52 PM »
Just came across another case which is pretty hilarious.

https://deadspin.com/the-winter-olympics-feature-2-951-of-the-world-s-greate-1823138678



Quote
The 33-year-old American has been freestyle skiing since 2013 with the single-minded goal of making it to the Olympics. Since the American team is, well, good, she initially competed for her motherís native Venezuela, before switching her allegiance and representing Hungary, which she was eligible to do because of Hungarian grandparents. Swaney canít throw a single trick in the halfpipe, and she can barely catch any air to speak of, but that doesnít matter, since the real competitive portion of her Olympics came before she even traveled to South Korea, as she worked her way onto the team in an effort that was something between a scam and a tale of perseverance.

tl;dr To get to the Olympics she needed to place top 30 in several international competitions in the womens ski halfpipe.  She traveled around the world to events where there were fewer than 30 entrants or hoped other competitors would screw up or withdraw.

That's kinda awesome...and really hilarious.

Ironically, this kinda gets back to the roots of the modern Olympics . . . it was originally an aristocratic gentlemanly thing to do, not a competition between the best of the best in the world.  The early Olympians viewed practicing for your event as tantamount to cheating, this is why professional athletes were banned from competition.

CheapScholar

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2018, 08:34:09 PM »
I think as long as people follow the rules that are in place they can't be blamed too much.  That Swaney girl on the half pipe is a total joke though.

Kind of related, FIFA soccer rules stipulate you can play for a national team so long as you have 1 grandparent that was a citizen of that country.  I'm a huge fan of my ancestral country, Croatia.  We typically have at least a few players at a time not born in the legal boundaries of the country.  Also, the team officially claims to represent the diaspora and the country, so I think having foreign players is good. 

tj

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2018, 08:53:52 PM »
Just came across another case which is pretty hilarious.

https://deadspin.com/the-winter-olympics-feature-2-951-of-the-world-s-greate-1823138678



Quote
The 33-year-old American has been freestyle skiing since 2013 with the single-minded goal of making it to the Olympics. Since the American team is, well, good, she initially competed for her motherís native Venezuela, before switching her allegiance and representing Hungary, which she was eligible to do because of Hungarian grandparents. Swaney canít throw a single trick in the halfpipe, and she can barely catch any air to speak of, but that doesnít matter, since the real competitive portion of her Olympics came before she even traveled to South Korea, as she worked her way onto the team in an effort that was something between a scam and a tale of perseverance.

tl;dr To get to the Olympics she needed to place top 30 in several international competitions in the womens ski halfpipe.  She traveled around the world to events where there were fewer than 30 entrants or hoped other competitors would screw up or withdraw.

I don't think this is any different than people gaming the tax system to retire early. She found a way to spend 2 weeks in the Olympic Village, I would say that's pretty badass. It must have been very costly for her to do that, but  if anything, I blame the country of Hungary for allowing her to represent them - you'd have to think this is an embarrassment for that country.

The big thing is if the athletes respect her?  According to this article, http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/how-freeskier-elizabeth-swaney-made-it-olympics-simple-halfpipe-run  - the gold medalist doesn't care.

That being said, the international snowboarding federation is going to change the rules so this sort of thing can't happen again....she wins for being an early adopter. :D

obstinate

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2018, 09:26:21 PM »
So here's question 1: Ethically and morally, is gaming the citizenship system any different in nature than executing a Roth IRA conversion ladder?

Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?
1. Depends on your ethical system.

2. There is no god.

PDXTabs

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2018, 10:04:46 PM »
Most countries don't require renouncing your previous citizenship; but some do. For example- Japan. So Yuka Kavaguti (formerly  Kawaguchi, but it was "russian-ized) had to give up her Japanese citizenship when she started skating for Russia. It apparently will not be easy for her to get the Japanese citizenship back.

Still others won't actually accept the renunciation, will give you your citizenship back if you want it, or will give you a weird lifetime permanent residency (India).

So here's question 1: Ethically and morally, is gaming the citizenship system any different in nature than executing a Roth IRA conversion ladder?

No, why would it? People have been moving around for time immemorial. Also, lots of countries are trying really hard to attract certain talent, why would it be immoral to take them up on it?

However, I will mention that in certain countries it is a crime to apply for citizenship with no intent to keep living in the country once you have it (New Zealand).

EDIT - Can you tell that one of my hobbies is trying to figure out how to get another EU passport (post-brexit)?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 10:20:56 PM by PDXTabs »

aspiringnomad

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2018, 10:35:12 PM »
Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?

Fair question given that the Olympics were conceived to honor Zeus. I donít have a definitive answer, but I imagine that as long as you sacrifice 100 oxen in accordance with Olympic tradition, youíd remain in His good stead and avoid being thunderbolted.

marty998

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2018, 12:42:01 AM »
Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?

Fair question given that the Olympics were conceived to honor Zeus. I donít have a definitive answer, but I imagine that as long as you sacrifice 100 oxen in accordance with Olympic tradition, youíd remain in His good stead and avoid being thunderbolted.

God may also have had a problem with everyone competing naked.

Imagine being starkers on top of some of those mountains. You'd lose your bits to frostbite!

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2018, 01:06:15 AM »
As I've been watching the Olympics, I've seen several athletes who basically became citizens in different countries, seemingly only so they could compete in the Olympics in 2018.  Like, one guy who was born in Utah competed for South Korea, and he didn't previously have any connection to that country.  I'm still trying to sort my feelings about this... my gut reaction is that it sure seems like being an American didn't mean much to him, that it was disposable, and that makes him somehow less of a person... At the same time, historically, I'm not convinced that jingoism has been a net positive for the world; I think it probably has not. 

A few minutes ago, I suggested that someone in the US who's concerned about future healthcare costs should consider trying to get Canadian citizenship as a way to reduce the volatility of those future costs. 

So here's question 1: Ethically and morally, is gaming the citizenship system any different in nature than executing a Roth IRA conversion ladder?

*I don't want the word "gaming" to be too distracting here -- I'm not suggesting anything illegal is being done, so feel free to substitute the word "optimizing" in its place. 

Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?

You...you think that someone is less of a person if theyíre not American? And then you question if a god cares about someoneís citizenship?  Trumpís America is terrifying.

driftwood

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2018, 01:31:08 AM »
As I've been watching the Olympics, I've seen several athletes who basically became citizens in different countries, seemingly only so they could compete in the Olympics in 2018.  Like, one guy who was born in Utah competed for South Korea, and he didn't previously have any connection to that country.  I'm still trying to sort my feelings about this... my gut reaction is that it sure seems like being an American didn't mean much to him, that it was disposable, and that makes him somehow less of a person... At the same time, historically, I'm not convinced that jingoism has been a net positive for the world; I think it probably has not. 

A few minutes ago, I suggested that someone in the US who's concerned about future healthcare costs should consider trying to get Canadian citizenship as a way to reduce the volatility of those future costs. 

So here's question 1: Ethically and morally, is gaming the citizenship system any different in nature than executing a Roth IRA conversion ladder?

*I don't want the word "gaming" to be too distracting here -- I'm not suggesting anything illegal is being done, so feel free to substitute the word "optimizing" in its place. 

Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?

You...you think that someone is less of a person if theyíre not American? And then you question if a god cares about someoneís citizenship?  Trumpís America is terrifying.

@MrThatsDifferent, I believe OP was saying he thinks someone could be less of a person for forsaking their citizenship and claiming another country just to compete in an sporting event.  Not at all because it happened to be an American.

driftwood

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2018, 01:35:48 AM »
It's a complicated situation in a world that is holding a country against country competition while also allowing you to change citizenship or hold dual citizenship.  So despite where you're born, you can play for a variety of different countries.

That's fine for the athlete, but really it would be kind of sad to see South Korea winning gold medals then see that the athletes are Americans with dual citizenship, who don't plan on living in Korea or really 'being Korean'.  Would you have enjoyed "Cool Runnings" if everyone on the Jamaican Bobsled Team were Canadians? 

PhilB

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2018, 02:02:46 AM »
I'd just like to put in a word for the invisible 'victims' of this kind of practice.  My niece was a case in point. 
She put her career on hold for 4 years to concentrate on preparation for Rio.  When the team's funding got cut completely (they were never going to be in medal contention as it's a real minority sport here) she moved to another country to play her sport in a professional league (we don't have one in the UK) as the only way to fund herself whilst still training full time.   A very few months before the games several US players with UK ancestry swapped countries and as a result half the existing team, including my niece, were dropped from the team.

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2018, 04:03:54 AM »
@PhilB sorry to hear that.

I know there was a lawsuit in Australia about an ice skater with dual US citizen ship. One who had solo citizenship felt the spot should be hers. The court ruled in favor of the dual citizen, but in her case she had been a citizen since birth, she just wasn't a resident. Not quite the same as arbitrary country hoping, but surely upsetting to the athlete who had limited resources when training in Australia (a wealthy country, but not exactly full of ice rinks). The residency thing is complicated though, as many athletes, including this girl's brother, train abroad for better facilities .

cerat0n1a

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2018, 05:14:32 AM »
Kind of related, FIFA soccer rules stipulate you can play for a national team so long as you have 1 grandparent that was a citizen of that country.  I'm a huge fan of my ancestral country, Croatia.  We typically have at least a few players at a time not born in the legal boundaries of the country.  Also, the team officially claims to represent the diaspora and the country, so I think having foreign players is good.

Ireland famously had a team built around the grandparent rule in the 1980s and 1990s - 3 of the 11 players were Irish citizens in the Euro 1988 line-up and 4 of the 11 when they beat Italy at the 1994 world cup. The last time they played with a team of players born in Ireland was 1975.

America has plenty of Olympians who came from elsewhere. The Army acquired 4 Kenyans through the "World Class Athlete Program", including Paul Chelimo who won silver in the Olympic 5000m.

libertarian4321

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2018, 05:28:19 AM »


Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?

Yes, he does.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster cares very much about citizenship.

Based upon my reading of the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the true path to salvation is to become a citizen of Italy before you die. 

Only then can you have any hope of becoming the finest linguine or fusilli in your next life.

GuitarStv

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2018, 07:41:01 AM »
Question 2: Does God care whether or not you game the citizenship system?  Does He or She care whether you appreciate your legal country of citizenship?

Fair question given that the Olympics were conceived to honor Zeus. I donít have a definitive answer, but I imagine that as long as you sacrifice 100 oxen in accordance with Olympic tradition, youíd remain in His good stead and avoid being thunderbolted.

God may also have had a problem with everyone competing naked.

Imagine being starkers on top of some of those mountains. You'd lose your bits to frostbite!

Given that one of the first sports - wrestling - was done naked (and occasionally oiled up) in the ancient Olympics, I suspect that God is more likely to have a problem with clothed people competing.  Athletes have some of the nicest bodies ever created, why are we hiding them out of prudish shame?

NoraLenderbee

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2018, 02:41:15 PM »
If the guy took an Olympic spot away from a South Korean athlete, I'd say that was shitty. Imagine being the best skier in your small tropical country, and you don't get to go to the Olympics because ten experts from Scandinavia took over your country's team.
To put it another way--imagine going to watch the diversity of athletes and skills from all over the world, and discovering that all the top competitors in every single sport were American. (Or Russian, or Chinese, or what have you.)

Prairie Stash

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2018, 04:34:38 PM »
If the guy took an Olympic spot away from a South Korean athlete, I'd say that was shitty. Imagine being the best skier in your small tropical country, and you don't get to go to the Olympics because ten experts from Scandinavia took over your country's team.
To put it another way--imagine going to watch the diversity of athletes and skills from all over the world, and discovering that all the top competitors in every single sport were American. (Or Russian, or Chinese, or what have you.)
Or you're from Canada and Donovan Bailey just captures the World Record and a gold medal at the 1996 olympics...It was pretty awesome. Donovan Bailey was originally from Jamaica and now does lives in Canada. He now helps amateur athletes, for Canada.

Canada's current fastest man, Andre de Grasse, was coached by Tony Sharpe. Tony Sharpe is another Jamaican born Canadian sprinter - he won bronze in the 4x100 in L.A. (1984).

After the Olympics are over a lot of the athletes go on to help their new countries athletic programs. The Olympics are a small time of their lives, what they do after to promote sports is the far more important story.

Here's the takeaway, would the Canadian born Andre have done as well without the coaching of Tony Sharpe? Canada has a multi decade sports program, built with the help of our Jamaican friends. Its only fair, it was a Canadian who coached them on bobsled ;)

accolay

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2018, 07:21:41 AM »
Wondering if/how answers would change if a U.S. citizen switched to compete in the Olympics for a country that is perceived negatively by the U.S. say...North Korea, maybe Russia or Iran...

GuitarStv

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2018, 07:23:27 AM »
Is Russia negatively viewed in the US?  The two countries seem quite cozy these days . . .

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2018, 07:41:35 AM »
Is Russia negatively viewed in the US?  The two countries seem quite cozy these days . . .

Our own president is viewed negatively in the US.
I think Russian citizens aren't necessarily viewed negatively, but Russian government is.  congress just passed sanctions on them, and most people don't like the idea of them meddling in our government.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 07:52:40 AM by iowajes »

accolay

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2018, 07:42:46 AM »
Is Russia negatively viewed in the US?  The two countries seem quite cozy these days . . .

Well, they are just the most fantastic people. Really the best. Believe me.

cerat0n1a

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2018, 11:09:14 AM »
Becoming Russian in order to compete in the Olympics would be a bad idea for other reasons, of course. At least for this particular games, anyway.

tj

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Re: "I became South Korean just so I could compete in the Olympics."
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2018, 02:41:22 PM »
Unusually lengthy article on Swaney. Only positive one I've seen.

https://sports.yahoo.com/liz-swaney-worst-olympian-actually-might-best-012747577.html