There has been a lot of press coverage about the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Games haven’t even started yet. Unfortunately, politics has overshadowed one of the best representations of international cooperation and sportsmanship the world gets to witness. Hopefully, this will all change once the XXII Olympic Winter Games get under way. The Games will take place February 7-23.
My favorite memory from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics was the Men’s Halfpipe competition. Shaun White was the last snowboarder to take his run during the final round. The broadcasters kept talking about a new trick Shaun had mastered and were wondering if he would pull it out since he already had the lead going into this run. Shaun dropped into the halfpipe and rather than doing a trick on the first wall like his competitors, he went for big air. When he crested the other side, I swear he went so high, I thought he’d be at the end of the course when he came back down. On the last wall of his run, he nailed the difficult trick the broadcasters were talking about. The crowd erupted, Shaun finished with his hands in the air and pumped his fist.
I’m sure you have some favorite memories from past Winter Games. The movie Miracle is about the miraculous U.S Hockey team win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid (1980). How about Nancy Kerrigan winning the silver medal for figure skating in Lillehammer (1994) after having her knee bashed before the competition. Birmingham’s own Vonetta Flowers became the first African-American to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics by earning gold for two-woman bobsleigh in Salt Lake City (2002). I personally developed a huge interest in short track speed skating watching Apolo Ohno compete in Salt Lake City and Turin (2006). I always cheer for Team USA, but NBC does such a great job profiling the athletes, you want each of them to win so much more.
Sochi 2014 will provide its own historical moments and great memories. Between events, take a look at the Olympic Games subject guide to discover books, websites, and other information about the Olympics. Enjoy the next two weeks.
- The boys of winter : the untold story of a coach, a dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team
- The complete book of the Winter Olympics
- Olympic bobsledders of the United States
- The second mark: courage, corruption, and the battle for Olympic gold