I should preface this by saying one thing: I am not a sports fan. It’s not because I’m not good at them, or because I hate competition; I’ve sincerely just never gained as much enjoyment from sports as I did music, nor understood the nearly-religious radiance it casts on some people. I certainly have fun playing them, and I don’t mind watching a few games here or there. Perhaps this is why the Olympics bring us together.
The Olympics are not generally difficult to follow. One could miss viewing several events and still enjoy the majority of the games. Luckily, this proves to be the perfect setting for nearly everyone, regardless of nationality, interest in following sports, laziness, etc. Two weekends ago proved to be a spectacle witnessed world-wide, as hundreds of Americans in sweaters swarmed the opening ceremony, held in Russia. While the games may have just begun, we decided to speak with several Gannon athletes regarding their opinion on the 2014 Winter Games thus far.
Adam Miller, a freshman journalism communications student and intramural ultimate frisbee player noted some of the issue in Russia, as well as his excitement for the upcoming hockey matches:
“It’s going better than I think many of us expected. Broken doors and unflourished logos aside, I think Russia may have put on one of the most interesting presentations since the games were held in London. I’m looking forward to the hockey matches; the preliminary rounds are slightly boring with most of the talented teams being placed in separate brackets, but it’ll be interesting to see the teams including NHL players (America, Canada, Russia) go head-to-head sometime soon.”
When asked about her stance, junior physician’s assistant student and dancer Marissa Caronitti focused more on her nostalgic feelings regarding past games:
“As a dancer, I remember watching the games with my mother, figure skating was our favorite- and simply marveling at the amount of dedication and effort it must have taken to earn that gold. Tara Lipinski was only 15 when she won a gold medal in figure skating, and as an American competitor, she continues to be an inspiration to me.”
Finally, Sean Rothka, a freshman criminal justice major and former intramural soccer player provided his viewpoint as a first-time watcher:
“The hockey matches seem less aggressive than NHL one often do. I will always be a fan of the American and Canadian teams, but this year I’m branching out game-wise. Curling can be somewhat slow but definitely interesting to watch.”
This is what makes the Olympics unique- from major to major, activity to activity, the games bring us together as people from all walks of life. Even I, someone who often avoids competition when at all possible, feel the enjoyment of seeing the nations of our world gather in the name of sportsmanship. Should this be the one thing that never fails to bring us closer together, I will always be glad to take a part of it.