The Sochi Olympics opening ceremony is tonight, and while I might be pining for the track & field events of the Summer Olympics, I’m going to be pinned to the screen for the next two weeks. I’m not just going to be watching to see how Lolo does in the bobsled (and look for hints to how she’ll perform in the upcoming track & field season), I’ve got five more reasons to love and watch the winter Olympics!
1. You’ve seen those shirts “My sport is your sport’s punishment.” Exactly. We do for fun what most of these athletes do for punishment. We can watch and feel superior. Just kidding … mostly.
2. Crossover athletes. We’ve heard about Lolo switching Olympic sports more than I’d like, but she isn’t the only athlete to try her hand at something new and succeed. For example, Shaun White went from skateboarder to Olympic snowboarder and medalist (and got a super hot new haircut). Plus, Lolo’s teammate, Lauryn Williams was a track star and Jana Pittman has also made the track to bobsledding transition. We should be watching the winter Olympics carefully to see who we can recruit to come to the running side. I swear some of those speed skaters would rock the 400-meters.
3. The thrill of competition. Not every runner likes to race. And that’s completely acceptable. We competitive runners like to see the thrill of the photo finish, the focus on the competitors’ faces, and the exaltation of the win. No matter who wins, I love seeing the pure competition that the Olympics exemplifies. I won’t be missing a single short-track event, even if I close my eyes when I see a crash.
4. Some old-fashioned, healthy patriotism. Although I’m a political science major and will sit down for a healthy (and civil) debate any day of the week, I love the sense of community that comes from cheering with my country for the same people. Call me an idealist, but this gives me hope for the future.
5. Supporting women in athletics is always good. Although we have and continue to make progress in women’s athletics, there is still a gender gap in sports. I believe that supporting our female athletes in any sport means more little girls seeing what women can do and believing that they can do it. More women doing and not watching from across the globe is a major win in my book.
Now that I’ve got my plans locked in for the next two weeks, will you join me?
Why will you (or won’t you) watch the Winter Olympics?