Ice dancing, motherhood, and the American flag

It’s rather like a soap opera with a dash of politics thrown in.

Tanith Belbin, resident alien, and Ben Agosto, U.S. citizen, is the team that provides the United States with the best chance of medalling in ice dancing at the 2006 Olympics in a couple months. Tanith, a Canadian, applied for U.S. citizenship in 1999, but the process is such that she wouldn’t be an American until it was too late for the Games.

A member of Congress wrote legislation allowing Tanith’s citizenship process to be expedited. However, the mother of one of the other competitors complains to her Senator, one Hillary Clinton, to the effect that a foreign national should not be given special treatment. Ironically, the only reason that the U.S. will have three ice dancing teams instead of two at the Olympics is that a team skating for the United States came in second at the World Championships. That team? Belbin and Agosto, of course. (The Worlds have different criteria for nationality than the Olympics.)

The legislation, which was attached to another bill, was defeated, but Tanith and Ben have hope that the item will revived and attached to another bill.

Will Tanith Belbin gain her citizenship before January 10, the deadline for picking the Olympic teams?

Will Ben Agosto recover from the painful injury that is keeping them out of competition in Japan this week?

Will Belbin and Agosto be on the Olympic team?

Will David Mitchell (the son of the complaining mother) and his partner make the team, with or without the competition of Belbin and Agosto?