1    Aug 20122 comments

Olympics: Cheering for ‘our’ teams

So many of our families have branches living in diverse countries, so our question today reflects that reality.

Which national teams - of our varied heritages - are those we roots for at major events, such as the Olympics? And, of course, why do we cheer so loudly for our national teams during the Olympics?

Experts at the University of Texas, Dallas offer several explanations of how we define ourselves via membership in a larger group, sometimes called “collective identity.”

UTD Researcher Dr. Karen Huxtable-Jester says this tendency is stronger in men than women, but everyone seems to enjoy cheering for their national team. She teaches psychology in The University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Another impetus for this is that people like to associate with successful people. Researchers call this BIRG (basking in reflected glory).

As far as the Olympics, the researchers say that people in a group – even if their inclusion in that unique group is by accident or as simple as birth or heritage, usually want their group to win. It strengthens their pride through identification with winners.

Our question today is how readers feel about rooting for their teams if they have divided ancestries, such as Italians who live in the UK, Germany or the US?

For whom do these fans cheer? For their ancestral heritage team – the Italians – or for their adopted heritage (UK, Germany or the US) teams, or for both?

What are your dual ancestries? For which teams do you cheer at the Olympics? Can you explain why you cheer for both national teams?

We’re interested in your comments, so share them below.

Search for your ancestors:

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I cheer for Canada because I'm Canadian and so proud, then the United Kingdom because I have British heritage, next would be Italy because I am visiting them in a few weeks. I also cheered for Michael when he won the medal for the USA in the relay.
  2. I support India. Jay Hind

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