Goin’ for gold at the Winter Olympics

As if playing sports on land wasn’t impressive enough, there are also athletic endeavors designed for the other three other elements — air, water, and fire. Air pertains to the daredevil adventures that are taken by brave souls like Felix Baumgartner in his legendary Space Jump. Water is the most obvious one of the three — aquatic sports and winter sports. (Because ice is basically frozen water). And fire…well that’s one where I can’t think of anything.

Anyways, I’m normally an admirer of athletes on any given day. In fact, it’s a deep-rooted respect; something that has evolved into a constant wishing to be one. But I’m the type of person to value the fashion of my bright blue Nike running shoes rather than their athletic capabilities — so unfortunately, athlete is not the first word to describe me.

But today, I felt brought upon to talk about this topic in light of, none other than, The Winter Olympics. They are so out of my athletic arena of experience that you’ll often hear me asking, “What sport is this?” if I see something other than ice skating, ice hockey, or skiing. Despite my ignorance of the winter sports, I fully recognize and appreciate them. For me, it seems like there’s a different type of courage required to slip, slide, and ski down a dangerous mountain  than there is to play a good ol’ game of baseball.

Whether it’s the freezing temperatures or added thrill, there’s just something different. Watching a normal sport on ‘land’ is somewhat inspirational. At the most, I can sit around and fantasize about becoming a talented tennis star. But winter sports? I just  throw my hands up and accept the impossibility of being an ‘alpine skier’ Those athletes might as well be super-humans; unlike me, where shoveling snow off the driveway will be the closest I’ll ever get to to winter athletics.

The beauty in all of this is that, even people like me can be attracted to the idea of the Winter Olympics. It’s amazing, that athletes like Meryl Davis and Charlie White can capture the hearts of an entire nation, even through sports that may not be as popular or well-known as others. And though my following of them will probably go down considerably once the games are over (Sorry Meryl), in these past few Olympic days alone, I have learned that ice skating and ice dancing are separate entities; bobsledding is a thing; and speed skating is a more intense version of ‘follow (and maybe beat) the leader.’

In all seriousness though, even with the controversy about the games being in Sochi, the participants seem to be doing well and getting the attention they deserve.Thanks to all the athletes for their dedication to competing at the highest level and representing their nations.

Go team USA!



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