Some cherish the Olympics to view great athletic feats. Others watch the games to learn about obscure sports. But as junior Mac Jordan simply put it:
“I am looking forward to American dominance.”
Whether you are an Olympic super-fan or indifferent, the Pyeong Chang Olympics is for you. In this article, I will highlight some of the stunning athleticism, jarring controversy, and student body opinion of the winter Olympics.
Jesuit is a school filled with athletes and sports fans. That being said, the winter Olympics have a mixed reputations among the student body. Many students find it hard to relate the the wide array of winter sports, preferring the summer Olympics instead.
“I honestly don’t see the hype in the winter olympics, because none of the sports I’m really attached to. The summer olympics is just way better because I participate in some of those sports like swimming and running” commented Maxwell Schutze ’19.
Andrew Patton ’19 expressed a similar sentiment “I prefer the summer olympics mostly because I think the winter olympics all the events are more of the same, there is less variety than the summer olympics.”
The student’s lack of interest in winter sports is most likely a product of the school’s geographic location, Texas, a state not exactly known for its snowy winters nor competitive bobsled.
Nevertheless, many find these exotic winter sports intriguing and fun to watch.
As junior Jacob Jackson framed the games:
“It’s not as good as the summer Olympics, but I like the skiing and bobsled. Also, a lot of the sports are weirder–like how do you get into biathlon?”
Students’ Favorite Sports
The uncommon sports and events are what make the winter Olympics unique and exciting. Once every four years, countless sports-fans shift their focus from the run of the mill baseball and basketball to a wide array of Olympic events.
Memorable events include skiing with rifles (biathlon), extreme ballroom dancing on ice (ice-dancing), and glorified high-speed sledding (bobsled).
“Without a doubt curling is the most amazing sport. It is the only reason I’m watching the Olympics,” said junior Niko Hernandez.
In fact, the winter Olympics is the highest level of curling, a sport that seems to sweep Jesuit students into excitement (no pun intended). Often described “ice-shuffleboard” with athletes brushing the floor with brooms, the riveting sport of curling has gained popularity among the student body.
“Curling is definitely the coolest sport in the winter olympics. I mean it takes a lot of preparation, those teams got to go to a lot of curling practice and team bonding–they’ve got to have big arms too, especially big biceps,” commented Alex Cano ’19.
However, curling is no joke.
This year, the sport added to the storm of Olympic controversy. Russian curler, Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium, a banned performance enhancing drug, further tarnishing the reputation of the Russian olympic team.
Additionally, bobsled received ample support from students. For Reed Zimmermann ’19:
“I like bobsleds ever since I saw Cool Runnings.” Cool Runnings is a movie about the first Jamaican bobsled team and their underdog story coming from a Caribbean island. Perhaps, the notion that this tropical island nation can sport a bobsled team gives hopes to Texans about their future in the winter Olympics.
Korean Unified Team
In a historic turn of events, the North and South Korean Olympic teams agreed to march under the same banner and compete as “Unified Korea” under the same flag. With rising tensions amid North Korea’s advancement of their nuclear weapons program, the flag of a unified Korean peninsula offers a faint glimpse of hope.
“It will be interesting to see how North Korea does in these olympic games. The Unified Korea team is kinda cool. Maybe they’ll get back together,” added Kota Ueshima ’19.
Many hope that this shared Olympic team will help to thaw tensions between the two rival nations.
This symbol of goodwill spread to team sports as well. In fact, the two Koreas formed a shared hockey team, with players from both countries playing on the ice.
Russian Team Banned (sort of)
Last year, the International Olympic Committee found the Russian team guilty of a widespread doping scandal in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. As punishment, Russia was barred from competing in the current Pyeong-Chang Olympics.
However, the IOC allowed around 150 Russian athletes to compete independently under the Olympic banner if they pass extra drug tests.
The ban of the Russian team has sparked outrage among the Russian government. Even so, the IOC has been applauded for combating the use of performance enhancing drugs in Olympic sports.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned Russian curler’s failed drug test, possibly jeopardizes Russia’s redemption in the Olympic community.
Unfortunately, American dominance appears to not be a theme of the Pyeong-Chang Olympics.
Current medal count as of February 22:
United States: 21
Stay tuned to the Roundup and cheer on Team USA as they continue to compete in Pyeong-Chang.