By VICTORIA HILLS ’14,
Co-Editor in Chief
The Olympics are the best. If I’m feeling patriotic, I can strut around campus crowing about Canada’s stellar performance so far in the Games. If I’m feeling shallow, I’ll sit in wait for close-ups on gorgeous Olympians at the pinnacle of human fitness. And if I feel an inferiority complex setting in, I YouTube Olympic fails and cackle at highly trained Olympians goofing up all over the screen.
But even at my shallowest and most self-indulgent, I never stop appreciating the true purpose of the Games. I adore the Olympics because they remind us that even when people’s differences seem insurmountable, even when our world seems more frightening than peaceful, people can always find common ground. Every two years we get to spend two weeks watching men and women put aside their differences for the sake of competition. Languages, religions and politics are irrelevant to Olympic athletes during competition, and for 17 days those same issues become irrelevant to us too.
While I do love beautiful Olympians and clumsy Olympians, my favorite Olympians are the sportsmanlike ones. The following are my favorite moments of sportsmanship from the first week and a half of the 2014 Winter Olympics:
Everyone deserves congratulations
Swiss cross-country skier Dario Cologna won a gold medal last Friday, collapsed in the snow, and then stayed at the finish line for another 28 minutes after his victory to congratulate every other race finisher.
“I wanted him to have dignity”
When three-time American Olympian and current Canadian Olympic coach Justin Wadsworth saw a Russian competitor break his ski shy of the finish line, he didn’t hesitate to help. Anton Gafarov was saved from floundering in the snow when Wadsworth gave him a spare ski so he could finish the race with dignity.
Be cool. Be gracious.
Shaun White, everyone’s favorite ginger, lost out on becoming America’s first Olympian to win three gold medals at consecutive Olympics when he fell during his first run in the snowboarding halfpipe event last Tuesday. But despite this crushing defeat, White offered nothing but gracious congratulations to the victor, Switzerland’s Iouri Podlatchikov. “I’ve ridden with that guy forever and he deserves a big win,” White told NBC. “The first thing he said was, ‘You’d better celebrate with me,’ so I said all right, and as much as it’s going to break my soul, I’m to go have a drink with him.”
Sisters > Medals
After Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, aged 19 and 22, won gold and silver in the women’s moguls, they embraced and held hands on the medals platform. Their older sister, Maxime, who also competed in the same event, celebrated alongside her sisters despite not making it into the top six.
There are only four days left to the Games. Excuse me while I go cry in a corner. Four days left to admire the incredible feats of strength and gracefulness the human body is capable of. Four days to be grateful that even the most focused and disciplined sometimes fail. And four days left to witness the truly amazing acts of kindness, bravery and sportsmanship that define every day of the Olympic Games.