The Olympics are coming up on February 7, which is a blessing to have ready entertainment in these cold and boring months before spring begins. This year, the Olympics are in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and this is the first time the Winter Olympics have been held there. These Olympics have a chance to add to the legends of Olympiads past.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember some famous Olympic moments. The scandal of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan is fresh on everyone’s minds, with the new movie, I, Tonya. Tonya Harding’s ex-husband famously hired some men to assault Nancy Kerrigan so she wouldn’t be able to skate. This became a huge national event that clearly still has large cultural significance to this day.
Another legend is when the U.S. men's hockey team beat the U.S.S.R. in the semi-finals, as depicted in the film Miracle. The U.S. team was a bunch of amateurs and the Soviet team had won the gold medal in the past five out of six Olympics. Somehow, the U.S. beat the Soviets and managed to secure the gold medal in the next game.
In a legendary moment of cheating in the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, three women of the East German Olympic team were caught with luge sleds that had been heated before the race to make them go faster. The East Germans were well known for their cheating, but blamed this on capitalists out to get them.
Finally, there is the classic underdog story of the Jamaican bobsled team who competed in 1988 Olympics in Calgary, which inspired the movie Cool Runnings. Although they did not win, they became an example of the Olympic spirit of competition and sportsmanship.
These and many other stories are why the Olympics are worth watching. The Olympics are two weeks of dramatic moments, full of intrigue and human interest making for great entertainment. Whether or not you enjoy watching sports is irrelevant because there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The start of the Winter Olympics also means another thing. It’s time for everyone to act like they’re experts at obscure sports we only watch every four years — classic weird stuff like ski jumping, luge, and hockey. Unless you really know the sport you’re watching, it is unwise to attempt to comment on it. Usually people can tell you’ve got no idea what you’re saying, and it's embarrassing for everyone involved.
However, the Olympics is also a great time to be an American. America has not finished outside of the top five in the medal count in the last decade. We’re the undisputed big boys of the Olympics, and it's a joyous place to be. Finally, Bob Costas will not be commentating at this Olympics as he has retired from that sphere of sports commentating. This is a big loss, but the hole Bob left will be filled by Xavier Rollman (‘20) and Aaron Melton (‘19) commentating on every single event in Founders Third Lobby around the clock.