By the Tower Staff
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are quickly approaching as spectators and participants arrive this week to compete and watch in the Games. However, on campus here at the Catholic University of America, there seems to be a lack of awareness or enthusiasm from our own university community, especially seeing as how most students come from states where winter sports such as skating, skiing, and hockey dominant the season. While it may not be as popular or notable as baseball, basketball, or football here in the United States, the American athletes at the level of international competition often get little to no recognition back at home with the exception of standouts like Shaun White or Lindsey Vonn. Mentions of the Olympics in the news, whether regarding I, Tonya’s numerous awards, or the fallout from former U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, have yet to spark any controversy on campus. Furthermore, there seems to be no recognition from the student community about a unified Korea team playing together as one. This is the first time the two polar opposites along the peninsula in East Asia are unifying in competition all while ongoing peace efforts to resolve their own 68 year conflict continue. This is also the first ever participation in the Winter Olympics for six countries: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore. It will also be a historic few weeks as Russian athletes will not be able to represent their country in competition due to widespread doping scandals. There are plenty of storylines worth following in these Olympic Games, but there is not much of a buzz around here.
Football’s over, and there’s a gap in all the must-see sports television during this mid-season lull. We won’t be able to root on our own country in the World Cup (thanks US Soccer), so this is a month-long chance to cheer on our nation’s best athletes. So get your parents to send you the code to the family xfinity account. Even watching curling sounds way more fun than writing a three-page philosophy paper; who knows, maybe you’ll like something so much you will go and try it yourself!
This year, challenge yourself to learn more about a lesser-known sport, or an athlete who has dedicated his or her life to mastering it. Dive into the unique cultures of South Korea and the other 91 countries traveling halfway across the world to compete in the Games.