Olympics tied for best seasonal entertainment

Emma Knudson, Staff writer

As a child, I was fascinated by olympians and the entire concept of the Olympics.

In my young mind, the Olympics were the Royal World Championships for only a chosen few badasses for every sport ever made, even sports I never knew were considered sports—horse-back riding? Curling? Race walking?

For all I knew, under-water basket weaving was a sport there, and you had to weave the most elegant baskets at the bottom of a pool in a single breath to even be considered.

I was so inspired by the athletes during one particular Winter Olympics that I spent every evening trying to do my first successful unassisted headstand on a pillow throughout the entire program. I’m not sure how the two concepts connected in my mind. I never did learn how.

But the debate that I’ve been hearing all around is surrounding the Summer vs. Winter Olympics: which is better? Which Olympics is compiled of the best sports, the most entertainment, the highest intrigue?

The Winter Olympics are great because most people would rather stay inside to watch them.

Don’t want to be active in the snow and ice? Then just stay inside and let the professionals on the T.V. screen do the activity for you! They do a better job anyways. And they make it look easy.

In addition, the Winter Olympics feature so many sports you never get to see outside of the three-week programming, like skeleton, or ski jump, or the biathlon.

Not only that, but you get to see some pretty acrobatic stunts, like in snowboarding or figure skating (figure skating to me is like a hardcore gymnastics floor routine—not only are you doing flips and spins and turns and dancing, you’re doing it on ice with death-metal knives on your feet. That’s hardcore).

All while curled up on the couch eating hot chili while it freezes over outside.

There’s an allure there that the Summer Olympics lack—a sense of insanity related to the cold. Not only are these sports crazy, but the conditions are less than ideal.

However, the Summer Olympics has more of a relatable variety.

Not to say that these athletes aren’t as insane or badass as the Winter Olympians, they’re all insane and badass. I wish I could possess a tenth of their athleticism.

But the sports featured in this season are the sports we’ve probably already partaken at some point, or have been forced to participate in as a child, or have just encountered in P.E. class.

We’ve all tossed around a volleyball and slunk away when it was hurled back at us. And we’ve all had competitions to see who could swim the fastest, run the fastest, or throw the farthest.

All of these things, and more, are in the Summer Olympics. So it makes sense that the Summer Olympics may be viewed as more popular. But it may makes you feel guilty spending all day in August in front of the T.V. instead of enjoying the outdoors.

On the other hand, it’s nice to get away from the crippling heat. There also aren’t many other sports playing on T.V. when the Summer Olympics air, so you can get your fill of athletic entertainment that you’re missing.

Both the summer and winter Olympics have an interesting variety of sports, both have the sports people truly look forward to, and both fascinate people in the same way.

But in my opinion, I’d have to go with the Summer Olympics, for personal reasons. I love the sport of track and field.

Not only do I participate in it here at Linfield, but I also avidly follow the sport, collegiate and professional. When track and field finally airs, I can’t miss a moment, especially when my favorite athletes toe the line.

Maybe if I didn’t love track as much and follow it as closely as I do, I’d choose the Winter Olympics purely out of the obscurity of the sports.

It feels so special to watch these crazy events every four years that I’d otherwise forget about or never see/hear about otherwise.

And watching the Winter Olympics will always bring me back to dedicating that one winter to practicing headstands, watching the Olympians live out their life’s work, all the while imagining myself out there: the best at whatever I was in, with the guts to try something new and train my heart out for that one special moment, regardless of my fear of failure— maybe like perfecting a headstand.