You probably spent your Sunday night doing all that homework you put off (or not doing it) over the weekend, or catching some much needed ZZZs after a busy weekend of rehearsing for Peter Pan or going to Semi. I spent my Sunday night grieving over the fact that the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are officially over. Anyone who knows me well knows that I get obsessed with the Olympics. I have to know what is going on at all times; who won what, who lost what, which records were broken, who got injured, and the life story of most prominent athletes. The Olympics are, without a doubt, my favorite thing to watch on TV for many reasons.
For one, the games are so inspirational. The commentators talk about how these athletes undergo extreme training for more than twenty hours a week and haven’t eaten a desert for four years. That got me thinking. Suddenly something about watching people exercise while sitting on a couch and twiddling my thumbs didn’t seem right to me. So I spent most nights these past few weeks at the gym doing cardio while watching skiers, skaters, and sliders compete for Gold. Realistically, I’m not going to stop going to Chipotle or eating burgers, but the Olympics always fuels a nice health kick.
Another thing I love about the Olympics are the endless opportunities for research. Nothing feeds my addiction to Wikipedia the way an obscure sport or an incredible athlete does. Probably the biggest time suck from the Sochi games would be my fascination with Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko. You may recognize him because of his funny hair cut (he seems to be a target of mockery, but after winning four Olympic medals I think he reserves the right to wear his hair however he wants). Evgeni was born in a very poor industrial Soviet city, and moved to St. Petersburg by himself at the age of 11 to train. 20 years later and he is one of the most decorated male figure skaters of all time- the only one to win four Olympic medals in the sport in nearly a century. He genenerated a lot of buzz during these Olympics after dropping out of the individual event (after winning gold in the team) due to a back injury. Honestly, after 13 knee and spinal surgeries, can you blame him? In any case, don’t be fooled by his mullet, he is a truly amazing athlete. I suggest you dive into his length Wiki article if you aren’t convinced.
Even if you aren’t as into the Olympics as diehards like me, you probably heard something about various controversies that involved the games. For one, the fact that Sochi was completely unprepared to host as many people that it needed to, as most hotels were still in disarray by the time the press showed up. (Check out this link for more). Another uproar surrounding the events was some questionable judging in the Women’s Figure Skating Final, where edged out 2010 Gold Medalist Kim Yuna Adelina Sotnicova. Many believe that Yuna, of Korea, should have won the event.
All in all, the Olympics are this spectacular mixture of international glory and excitement, a positive way for countries to come together in a (mostly) not politically oriented way. And it’s super fun to watch.