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After closing out a rare, life-changing experience, many people would want to hang on to some mementos to bring the memories they made home with them. That's why it was so surprising when on July 29, uniforms from one of the Olympic teams were found in the garbage. Other Olympians and Olympic officials were distressed by seeing the uniforms trashed, but the reason this team tossed their Olympic uniforms is probably not what you're thinking. Read on to find out what really happened.
Mexico's softball team threw out their Olympic uniforms.
On July 29, a boxer representing Mexico in the Olympics, Brianda Tamara Cruz, tweeted a photo of Mexican Olympic softball uniforms in the garbage. Cruz was offended by seeing uniforms that represent her country in the trash. However, Rolando Guerrero, the president of Mexico's softball federation, claimed that the uniforms were only tossed due to insufficient luggage space.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Guerrero told TV Azteca, "They had to make room in their luggage because for a softball team it's not the same packing 33 bats, catchers' equipment, game gear, three uniforms, and workout clothes … We won't be going after anyone or responding or rebutting anything on social media. It was simply a matter of too much cargo." Other sources told ESPN Mexico that sets of equipment, clothing from the opening ceremony, sneakers, and suitcases were also found in the garbage.
The athletes took bedding instead of the uniforms.
While Guerrero was understanding about the matter, the Mexican Olympic Committee openly expressed its disappointment about the situation. The committee was especially upset that rather than try to fit the uniforms in the luggage, the softball players opted to take bedding from the Olympic Village as a keepsake. "It's regrettable that they left behind the uniforms in such an inappropriate place as the garbage in favor of some bedspreads from the Olympic Village," committee president Carlos Padilla told ESPN.
Olympic boxers representing Mexico were disappointed by the softball team's actions.
When Cruz shared the photo of the trashed uniforms on Twitter, she wrote, "This uniform represents years of effort, sacrifice, and tears. All Mexican athletes yearn to wear it with dignity, and today the Mexican softball team sadly left it all in the garbage of the Olympic villages."
Another Olympic boxer representing Mexico also tweeted her disapproval. "Perhaps for some of the fellow athletes, it means 'nothing' [but] these uniforms for many others represent our years of work, dedication, love, and passion," wrote Esmeralda Falcon. "Too bad the Mexican softball team doesn't see it that way."
The team may face consequences for their actions.
Mario Garcia, the Mexico Olympic Committee's secretary-general, told ESPN Mexico that the team may end up facing discipline from the committee and possibly legal sanctions. According to ESPN, the committee sees it as an "affront to the [national] identity" because the trashed uniforms featured the Mexican flag. Garcia acknowledged both sides. While he told ESPN Mexico that more could have been done to ensure that the team didn't have any cargo issues, he added that the team could have packed their uniforms in their carry-on bags, or removed other excessive cargo.