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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

VIEWPOINT: Winter Games are must-see TV

Contrary to Michael Murphy’s column, I believe the Winter Olympics are must-see TV.

They provide an excitement and thrill that the Summer Olympics never can. Sure the summer sports may be more familiar to the everyday person, but I believe that is what makes the Winter Olympics so special.

Who wants to watch someone else do a sport they can do themselves? Winter Olympics’ sports are showcased every four years and otherwise forgotten by the world. Athletes are willingly hurling themselves down pure ice mountains and flying around corners with 17-inch razors attached to their feet.

The Winter Olympics also gives us some of the most heartwarming sports stories we have. Ever heard of the Jamaican bobsled team? That’s what I thought.

The Olympics are the pinnacle of every athlete’s dream. I have participated in two U.S. long-track speedskating Olympic trials, in 2006 and 2010. It’s simply unfair to the athletes to take away all that they have worked toward because you can’t appreciate their athleticism. A distant second to the Summer Olympics? Please. I will watch just about anything, but I still fall asleep watching the majority of the summer sports.

Vancouver cannot control the weather as you seem to think Gore can; they can plan events and hope the weather cooperates. Downhill skiing is not the only Winter Olympic sport: short-track speedskating, hockey, curling and the different figure skating disciplines take place indoors and aren’t affected by weather. They are different; they pique your interest to learn more. They showcase the American work ethic on an international stage.

There’s no doubt that the tragic loss of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger, is a huge mark on this Olympic Games. As in most things, it’s easier to look back and see ways to prevent such a horrible thing from occurring — padded posts, slower track, a higher wall. But the luge federation didn’t see any of these as necessary at the time.

Still, athletes know the real inherent risk of injury in their sports. If you took a poll of the Olympic athletes on whether they ever suffered an injury from their sport, I guarantee at least 90 percent would answer yes.

If you were even listening to the Opening Ceremonies, you heard the commentators say the director wanted to showcase the variety that is Canadian culture. If you were expecting a repeat of Beijing, of course you would be nauseated. No one will ever be able to equal that show’s precision.

Vancouver’s ceremonies were special in their own way, as evidenced by the inclusion of the aboriginal tribes. Appreciate the show for what it was — an eye-opening experience of a culture different from your own TV-dominant shrine.

The fact that your sole hope for redemption in this Olympics is the U.S. Hockey Team beating Canada shows how naive you are. Sure winning is great, but the games are about the experience and showcasing years of intense training in front of the world. You should try it sometime.

Sadie Grace is a junior in the College of Health Sciences.

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