The 2010 Winter Olympics begin today. Personally, I love the Winter Olympics. The Summer Olympics are great as well, but they don’t carry the charisma that the Winter Olympics do. I would imagine that my feelings are similar to those of a parent who has two children. Both are great, but one is undeniably better than the other. Plus, who wants to see more of that bong-smoking degenerate Michael Phelps anyway. He should be banned from sports forever. Everyone knows that weed clearly gives you a competitive advantage and allows you to shatter world records with half the effort of someone with pristine lungs. I bet that Shaun White has never touched the stuff. I don’t want to stereotype, but come on, look at his hair—that just screams, “I’m straight edged” to me.
In all seriousness though, the Winter Olympics unite nations with a fervor that is usually reserved for non-U.S. nations during the World Cup. It provides us with a spectrum of events that range from nauseatingly boring to nauseatingly unbelievable. From curling to men’s downhill skiing, there is never a time when you can’t cool off by watching someone do something on ice. There is the obvious perk of nearly 24 hours of watchable TV provided by all of NBC’s networks, and actually tuning into CNBC is a strangely enjoyable and exotic activity. But let’s get back to the important point—this idea of a united community.
The Olympics has its stars. The aforementioned Shaun White, Apollo Ohno, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn all carry some serious weight within their respective sports. The great part about the Olympics, though, is that it doesn’t matter. I’ll root for anyone from the USA. You can be damn certain that I’ll be hating on the Austrian Nordic Biathlon team come game time. I want my boys in the red, white and blue to win everything. They put their heart and soul into their cross-country skiing-cum-rifle shooting.
It’s some good, old-fashioned, international competition…It is a chance for Americans to root for America without feeling pompous. We need this as a country. The Olympics provide an opportunity for us to stop hating ourselves for the international political and cultural blunders we’ve made in the past. It is a chance to revel in the success of our athletes, to live vicariously through their achievements. And I’ll tell you what: It’s thrilling. It is O.K. to root against another nation in the total medal count. The Olympics are absent of political correctness, and it is beautiful.
It may be chancy, insensitive and simply false to say that we are the greatest country in the world, but if we win the most medals, we can certainly brag about our superiority in snowy athleticism. It’s about time for some national pride. Set your obligations aside, clear your schedules and sit down in front of the TV with some friends and cheer for America. ’Cause if there’s one thing we know we’re good at, it’s snowboarding.
Charlie is a sophomore in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].