The Apache Pow Wow

My Love for the Winter Olympics

Tanya Lee, Staff Writer

The iconic tune that’s stuck in my head. The sleek logo that fills the screen. The introduction for the broadcast of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

This scene has been deeply ingrained in my mind over the past week or so. After all, I’ve been spending countless hours in front of the television, watching the Olympics. A lot of people will say to me, “Why would you spend your time on that?” Or more often, “I only watch _____, everything else is so boring.”

I completely understand how these people feel. Before the 2018 Winter Olympics started, I only cared about figure skating. A few months ago, I’d gotten extremely invested in the sport, or more specifically, the men’s singles discipline. I devoured recordings of previous competitions. I eagerly watched videos of the athletes being interviewed, throwing my patriotism out the window to become a massive fan of the Japanese skaters, Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno. I blurted out terms such as “quad Salchow” and “camel spin” before realizing I didn’t really know what they meant, making me watch even more videos just to educate myself on the world of figure skating. Nothing else mattered: it was all about men’s figure skating.

When I started learning about the different sports of the Winter Olympics, I was confused by names like “moguls” or “skeleton”. Some events like bobsledding and curling made me wonder, “Why is this even an Olympic sport?” However, once I started watching, I couldn’t stop. It was fascinating to watch the subtle details of each event. Turning your skis just an inch too far could cause you to fall and injure yourself, forcing you out of the competition. Slowing down by even one-hundredth of a second could knock you off the podium. Letting go of your snowboard just a bit too quickly could cost you dearly. My obsession was slowly starting to spread to other sports, and understanding the Olympics became a huge research project for me. I learned to tell the difference between pairs figure skating and ice dancing. I could identify the top contenders for snowboarding. I finally learned about previously unknown events like biathlon and alpine skiing.

Watching the Olympics also showed me that this competition went far beyond sports. Perhaps the clearest evidence of this was the relationship between North and South Korea. Marching under a single flag? A unified women’s ice hockey team? Although the team didn’t score many hockey goals, they definitely scored goals in diplomacy.

Many other historical events happened at the Olympics. Asian-American athletes like Chloe Kim and Nathan Chen inspired children around the nation. Former AHS student Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to successfully land a triple axel at the Olympics. For the first time in Olympic history, Nigeria was represented at the Games. Huge steps are being made toward diversity in a competition that has been predominantly white since it began.

For me, this is what makes the Olympics so special. I see inspiration in the joyous fist pumps of the athletes, who have worked so hard to get where they are. I see a brighter future in the brilliant flame of the Olympic torch. And I see the world becoming just a bit closer, united by those five rings.

Graphic courtesy of TOTAL-CROATIA-NEWS.COM

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My Love for the Winter Olympics