Four years have come and gone since the last World Cup, which I enjoyed in Switzerland. This is my first time really following the action in the US, which is – of course – a different experience. One side effect of having attended such a global school as IMD is that I have friends and classmates from almost every country represented in the Cup. This results in friendly rivalries popping up all over my Facebook feed during these few weeks of competition.
The upshot is that, even when the US loses, I hold no animosity toward the victors. For example, it is hard to stay mad at Germany after they beat the US 1-0 when some of my best IMD friends are German. And taking an anti-Belgium stance before tomorrow’s knockout match would be impossible in light of my Belgian classmate and professor / program director.
I suppose this is the intent of the World Cup: to foster friendly rivalries rather than riots and beatings. Much as the Olympics draws attention to more obscure (at least from the American perspective!) sports every four years, it is fun to see so many Americans getting swept up in World Cup fever. Here’s hoping for a strong US showing and for a good World Cup regardless of the outcome!