In 1980, the U.S. hockey team pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history, beating a powerhouse Soviet squad 4-3 on the way to winning a gold medal.
Thirty-five years later, America pulled off another stunning upset. The victory involved integers, not ice skates, and was waged not by Cold Warriors but by skinny teens stuffed with curry. Team America has finally retaken the International Mathematical Olympiad crown.
The victory this week in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was a historic comeback.
If winning a youth math competition seems less important than vanquishing the Soviets in 1980, consider that the last time America won the math contest was in 1994. In the decades since, America has slid down the education charts, especially in math and science.
“It's been 21 years,” Team USA's head coach, Po-Shen Loh, said. “This is a huge deal.”
Earlier this week it was revealed that over 100 former US ambassadors sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing their support for the "landmark agreement" struck between world powers and Iran.
"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran stands as a landmark agreement in deterring the proliferation of nuclear weapons," the letter begins. "Without your determination and the admirable work of Secretary of State Kerry and his team, this agreement would never have been reached."
Notable signatories of the document included former under secretary of state Nicholas Burns; Daniel Kurtzer, the former envoy to Israel and Egypt; and Thomas Pickering, the former ambassador to Israel, Russia, India, and the United Nations.
Madeleine Albright, who served as secretary of state in the Clinton administration, also penned a piece for TIME magazine in which she wrote favorably of the deal on the same day the letter was released Thursday.
As former American diplomats, we have devoted much of our lives to ensuring that the President had available the best possible diplomatic approaches to dealing with challenges to our nation’s security, even while recognizing that a strong military is essential to help the President and the Congress to carry out their duties to protect the nation and its people. Effective diplomacy backed by credible defense will be critically important now, during the period of inspection and verification of Iran’s compliance with the agreement.
The JCPOA touches on some of America’s most important national objectives: non-proliferation and the security of our friends in the Middle East particularly Israel. Ensuring the cooperation and implementation of this agreement by a hostile nation will require constant, dedicated U.S. leadership and unflagging attention.
We recognize that the JCPOA is not a perfect or risk-free settlement of this problem. However, we believe without it, the risks to the security of the United States and our friends and allies would be far greater. We are satisfied that the JCPOA will put in place a set of constraints and inspections that can assure that Iran’s nuclear program during the terms of the agreement will remain only for peaceful purposes and that no part of Iran is exempt from inspection. As with any negotiated settlement, the most durable and effective agreement is one that all sides will commit to and benefit from over the long term.
In the aftermath of national tragedies like September 11 and Hurricane Katrina–when public figures worth a fraction of Trump were donating seven figures to relief organizations–the billionaire apparently misplaced his checkbook somewhere in his triplex atop Trump Tower.
Helmsley, by comparison, gave $5 million to the American Red Cross when New Orleans was submerged, and, post-9/11, she gave $5 million to the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.