Why this year is a unique Olympics

With COVID-19 concerns being through the roof the recently, students as well as the world are ecstatic to watch the return of world-wide sports at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The Olympics have been around since seemingly the beginning of time, with Greece creating the idea to have athletes compete in extraordinary athletic endeavors. We now fast forward to the present day, where countries from all across the world compete in hopes of bringing home Olympic medalists. 

The untraditional sporting events that athletes compete in during the Winter Olympics might decrease the general interest in the international sports festival. However, there are many reasons you should still watch.

The Olympics help everyone watching develop an appreciation for other countries across the world. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, and it is inspiring to watch everyone come together in unity to showcase the interconnectedness of our spread out world. 

You also get to watch and cheer on your home country during these games, even if you don’t understand the sport you’re watching. It is truly rare to find a competition just like this one, which showcases the premier athletes from your country.

Athletes choose to represent your country and it is only right you help encourage them by watching the Olympics whenever you can. 

This year is of especial interest to viewers, as there is a looming tension over the athletes as well as the competing nations. This tension has been brought to new heights recently due to the increasing military presence at the Ukrainian border. 

To add to this, there is a humanitarian worry with China, the host country, who has been accused of the genocide of Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group in the nation. In protest, many nations have participated in diplomatic boycotts.

Even with the rising tensions, the athletes prevail, bringing on some exciting feats for us to watch. 

For Minnesotans, more specifically those who live in Mankato, two of our own are representing our home state at the Olympics this year. MSU hockey coach Mike Hastings and junior center Nathan Smith were invited to be on Team USA’s hockey team. Team USA is scheduled to play their first preliminary game against China on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 9:10 p.m.

The Olympics are a truly special gathering of talents because of the unity the games build for every country across the world. Many countries do not agree with each other’s values and beliefs, but the games bring those countries together in rooting for a common goal.

This is every athlete’s dream, to be able to compete at the highest level in the hopes of winning a medal. It is unbelievably inspiring and is a reason to dream on your own. 

There are so many goals and dreams that seem like they might not be in sight, but that was also the case for these athletes showcasing their talents at the Olympic Games. The athletes competing are a sign of proof that if you work hard towards your goals, even if they might not be in sight, they are achievable.

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