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London 2012 Olympics: A family postcard from the Games

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Courtesy of Susie Billings

(Read caption) The Humphreys/Billings family has their global citizenship validated at the 2012 London Olympics. From left: Brett Humphreys is Australian (and also has British citizenship); Lauren, 9, and her brother Lachlan, 11, were born in London but now live in Qatar; and mom Susie Billings was born and raised in the US with an American father and Australian mother.

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We brought our family to London this summer to experience the Olympic Games first hand – and unexpectedly our global citizenship has been validated.
 
While we’re celebrating both elite athletic achievements and the coming together of all nations to compete, there’s a huge focus on “Who do you support?” Are you Team USA, Team GB, Team Australia, or Team Qatar?

That’s an easy question to answer for most, but our son, 11, and daughter, 9, both born in London, spent the first half of their lives there and the second half in Qatar where they attend a British school. Their dad is Australian (and also has British citizenship), and I was born and raised in the US with an American father and Australian mother.  
 
Though we were squeezed in and feeling at one with the global community in the international crowd of 60,000 in Hyde Park for the arrival of the Olympic flame, once the summer Games began we suddenly noticed an intense focus on nationalism. Supporters were draped in their national flag, with faces, eyes, and nails painted in their national colors. Norwegians wear Viking hats, the Dutch stand out in their orange wear, lots of Australians carry kangaroos, and the British sport Union Jack leggings, shirts, jackets, body suits, you name it!

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