“We Don’t Control America” and Other Myths, Part 3

Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug reflects on why she gets asked the question “You’re Jewish?” (Spanish available).
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  • Social Studies
  • Antisemitism

Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug writes:

I have heard the same question over and over since I received my gold medal in gymnastics on the Olympic podium. “You’re Jewish?” people ask in a surprised tone. Perhaps it is my appearance or the stereotype that Jews and sports don’t mix that makes my Jewish heritage so unexpected. I think about the attributes that helped me reach that podium: perseverance when faced with pain, years of patience and hope in an uncertain future, and a belief and devotion to something greater than myself. It makes it hard for me to believe that I did not look Jewish up on the podium. In my mind, those are attributes that have defined Jews throughout history. 1

  • 1Kerri Strug, “You’re Jewish?” in I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl, ed. Judea and Ruth Pearl (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 2004), 98.

How to Cite This Reading

Facing History and Ourselves, "“We Don’t Control America” and Other Myths, Part 3," last updated January 19, 2021.

This reading contains text not authored by Facing History and Ourselves. See footnotes for source information.

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