A New Star Tennis Star on the Block!
Posted on September 13, 2021
What an amazing achievement in the US Open that was for Emma Radacanu. The stats she came up with throughout the tournament were nothing short of miraculous. Even more so when you consider she was an unseeded qualifier.
Of course, her victory then brought on a host of social media debates about her choice of representing Great Britain. This was due to Radacanu being born in Toronto to a Chinese mother and Romanian father. However, she moved to England aged two and was educated and coached in Kent.
So, if that is not good enough to qualify for representing the UK, what is? Do you need to be called Penelope Jeeves and come from Surbiton? A middle-class white girl with just about enough ability to win one service game as a Wimbledon wild card.
If representing the UK was dependent on indigenous only sportspersons, it is hard to quantify how useless at sport this nation would be. And how do you define pure English/British, anyway? Both the captains of English football (Harry Kane) and one day cricket (Eoin Morgan) have Irish fathers. Morgan played for Ireland up to Under 19 Level and was born in Dublin.
An Endless List
The list of non-indigenous sports people that have represented England or Britain is endless. Here are just a few others…Lennox Lewis, Kevin Pietersen, Zola Budd, John Barnes, Greg Rudeski, Tony Greig, Mike Catt…I could go on all day and night. Outside of sport, the Royal family are made up of Greeks and Germans and the PM, Boris Johnson, was born in New York and is part German, Turkish, Russian and French. Where he got his retarded gene from, is unclear.
Borders are just lines on a map and a sportsperson should be able represent whoever he or she sees fit to. Emma Radacanu chose to represent the only country she knows as home. Her parents have made a successful life in the UK, and she was educated and coached here. If the rule is that you must represent a nation, not yourself, it would seem a tad disingenuous for her to represent China or Romania. If she had, can you imagine the shitstorm it would have caused?
And here’s another thing. As far as I can tell, Radacanu appears to be an incredibly driven individual in a sport that is an ultimate one against one challenge. One human against another, battering a tennis ball at each other. Of course, I don’t know Radacanu, but I would bet my house on it that at no point, did she say to herself, “Come on Emma, you can do this for the UK!”
Playing for Themselves
Tennis players mostly do it for themselves and rightly so. It might feel a bit different at the Olympics with all that ‘Team GB’ nonsense but ultimately, those at top of the game are mostly doing it for individual achievement. I don’t expect where they were born is as relevant to them (although they dare not say it) as some might hope. It’s trophies and wealth that drives them on. They practice hitting balls every day so they can be better than anyone else at tennis.
To be impressed and delighted for her, is heart-warming stuff. To claim Raducanu as “one of our own”, or ‘our girl’ is a bit delusional. No one owns her. Especially those who would soon tell her to clear off back to where she came from if she was a persecuted Chinese or Romanian orphan arriving in the UK without a penny.
I enjoyed watching Emma Radacanu winning on Saturday; I hope she has a great future in the game, winning lots of tournaments and money. Most of all I hope she is allowed to develop without too much pressure on her young shoulders. It’s great that the daughter of immigrants has chosen to represent the UK and in turn, become a role model for future stars, but let’s be honest about it.
The score was 6-4 6-3 to Emma Radacanu, not The UK 1, Canada 0.
*Boris Johnson – Source – Wikipedia
Boris Johnson was born in New York, USA. Johnson’s paternal great-grandfather was the Ottoman journalist Ali Kemal who was of Turkish and Circassian origin and a secular Muslim.
His paternal grandfather, Wilfred Johnson, Ali Kemal’s son, was an RAF pilot in Coastal Command during the Second World War. His father’s other ancestry includes English, German, and French; one of his German ancestors was said to be the illegitimate daughter of Prince Paul of Württemberg and thus a descendant of King George II of Great Britain. This would make him, and Elizabeth II sixth cousins twice removed.
Through Mary of Teck’s connection to Duke Frederick II Eugene of Württemberg, they would in that case also have a closer genealogical link as fifth cousins twice removed. Johnson’s mother is the granddaughter of Elias Avery Lowe, a palaeographer, who was a Russian Jewish immigrant to the US, and Pennsylvania-born Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, a translator of Thomas Mann.
Referring to his varied ancestry, Johnson has described himself as a “one-man melting pot” with a combination of Abrahamic religious great-grandparents. Johnson was given the middle name “Boris” after a Russian émigré his parents had once met. An episode of Who Do You Think You Are? explored the German origins of his middle name Pfeffel. Through this family line, Johnson is a descendant in the seventh generation of Anna Catharina Bischoff, whose mummified corpse was found in 1975 and identified in 2018.