I was disappointed to read in Saturday's paper that Erin Nelson, who just completed a world tour on bicycle, found nothing to admire in the multitude of countries she visited. I find it disturbing that someone with that kind of opportunity couldn't embrace the cultures of the places she visited and came back home with as narrow a mind as she left with.
As our country and hundreds of others compete in the global arena of the Olympic Games this summer, I feel that Nelson's attitude is at odds with the spirit of camaraderie and unity that sportsmanship should engender. Her effort to bike around the world is an admirable one and she should be proud of her athletic accomplishment. However, her comment that people in other countries are "not as hospitable as you would hope they'd be" smacks of entitlement and immaturity.
I realize that Nelson ran into some trouble along the way and I understand being upset by those experiences, but her words suggest that she found nothing redeeming about any of the people or places she visited. I am saddened that despite embarking on a grand adventure, she has thrown away the opportunity it gave her to expand her horizons.
She has seen the world and yet taken nothing from it. What a waste.
— Lydia B. Sarraille