“We Don’t Control America” and Other Myths, Part 3 | Facing History & Ourselves

“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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English — US
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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 & Ourselves, "“We Don’t Control America” and Other Myths, Part 3," last updated March 12, 2018.

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

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