EU Athletes Get Political

Mitt Romney spoke at Valley Forge Military Academy on September 28. Eastern Soccer players Amy Thomas and Kelsey Doutrich, who also happens to be last week’s MAC Player of the Week, were in attendance. They shared their reflections with me.

Jonny Shenk: So, how did you find out about the rally?
Kelsey: My dad texted me the morning of and was like, “Romney is at Valley Forge,” and I freaked out. Amy and I share our love for Romney and I texted her right away: “Romney is at Valley Forge. We have to go!” I was freaking out because the doors open at 9:30. It was 7:30. And eventually I called her, and she was like, “Yeah, I know, I have a ticket already!”

Amy: I realized I would miss both of my classes that day, so I emailed my teacher and begged him to let me go – Dr.

Pauley. I sent him summaries about the reading and everything, so he was like, “I guess, Thomas.”

Jonny: Were there a lot of people there?

Amy: There were a ton. The space we were in, we were probably 30 feet from him. We were really close. But we got there at 9:10, and it didn’t open until 11:30.

Kelsey: The whole room was packed.

Amy: We left right after Romney got done speaking because we wanted to get back to class and we kind of walked outside and saw probably four of five hundred people watching on the screen outside.

Jonny: Do you guys have a reputation on the soccer team for supporting Romney?

Kelsey: It comes up jokingly.

Amy: There are a few girls on the team who are Democrats or who will only vote for Obama, for certain dumb reasons (laughs). But we joke about it. One of the girls trains a woman for one of her classes. The woman was in the locker room one morning and heard us going at it. And she was talking to Ashley [Graybill], saying: “Wow, your team’s really politically engaged and talking about issues” (laughs).

Jonny: Getting back to the rally, you see Romney on TV, but actually seeing him in person, did it feel different?

Kelsey: It was a crazy environment. People cheering, yelling stuff all the time. I feel like it was different. You come in and people are just screaming for him.

Amy: On TV you kind of get annoyed when the crowd interrupts or you think it’s fake.

Kelsey: You cheer every two seconds.

Amy: He’d say one word and we’d all be like, “YEAH!!” So it was definitely different than watching it on TV. You actually felt the energy. It’s not someone holding up a sign and saying “cheer now.” It was nothing like I expected it to be. And I was surprised at Romney’s actual speech too, because you’d think that he would just be rallying, but he hit a lot of his economic points, which I was pleased about.

Jonny: One more question that I put some thought into. So, there’s a soccer game between the US and the Axis of Evil, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is taking a penalty kick. Would you rather have Obama or Romney in the goal?

Kelsey: Let’s do it with vice presidents.

Amy: Paul Ryan, absolutely. Now if it was the kicker, I’d choose Romney. I feel like he’s more of a foot guy (laughs).

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