'El Equipo De Todos'
My mom's enthusiasm for the American team makes me think my die-hard Mexico approach has been all wrong. She cheers for whomever she wants to win without worrying about the identity politics. Then again, she has a much simpler answer to "but where are you really from?"
There's no Latino/Chicano/Tejano/Immigrant team for me to identify with, so who am I really for? It's a question that I've been asking since my family moved to this country in 1996. Back then, I told everyone that one day I would plant the Mexican flag on the moon, but before that, I was going to represent the U.S. as an Olympic rhythmic gymnast. By the 2012 Olympics, I found myself identifying with the independent athletes, competing without a country's flag.
I asked the Latinos in my network whom they're cheering for, and the results were pretty mixed. Some root for their family's country; others just cheer for Team USA because they feel completely American.
Many of them unapologetically cheer for both teams, and they're the happy majority. Univision is tapping into this double patriotism by referring to the U.S. team as "el equipo de todos" — everybody's team.
Whether their roots are Mexican, Colombian or Chilean, when a Latino chooses to be a Team USA supporter, the chance of "my team" winning goes up 100 percent. And by alternating between two different jerseys, two different patrias, they're saying, I'm from here AND I'm from there.