The Olympics May Be About The Athletes, But It's The Politics That Really Shape The Games

The Olympics May Be About The Athletes, But It's The Politics That Really Shape The Games

The Olympics always make history, this year will be no different.
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It’s February and the torch is being passed. Time for some Winter Olympics! This year, the Winter Olympics, a sporting event dating back to the Romans before the games were split into summer and winter games, will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9th until February 25th. The games will feature athletes from ninety-two countries that will compete in 102 events in seven sports. The Olympics will be able to be viewed on NBC and will actually be viewed live instead of delayed replay.

Olympic games always tend to be my favorite as I feel they tend to have a greater impact than we realize. They change how a country is viewed with the spotlight on them. It becomes more evident how countries deal with each other and how they influence the game. This was visible in the 2014 Sochi games in Russia when the spotlight shone on how Russia had dealt with having the games in their country, from eradicating poorer folks in the town of Sochi, to creating an awful infrastructure to even cheating in the games with steroids.

The Summer Olympics in Rio opened our eyes to the shanty towns along Rio that had been dealt with by building walls to hide them from the influx of tourists in the city.

The games can also serve as an interesting historical reference and can reflect on what had been going on in the world at that time or even specifically that country that time. This is evident from post 9/11 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002 and even the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, Germany during the beginning of the Nazi Regime.

It isn’t entirely clear how the games will affect South Korea. What we do know is that the games have already pushed the country to fund a high-speed train that will take tourists and citizens from Seoul to Pyeongchang in sixty-two minutes rather than two hours. The game is also having an effect on South Korea’s relationship with North Korea as North Korea is having their athletes compete with South Korea’s athletes.

There also have been mumbles of peace talks between the two countries as the event approaches, which is surprising, considering the near explosive dialogue between Kim Jong-un and many nations including South Korea, Japan, and the United States. South Korean politicians and Olympic committee believe that it is important for North Korea to participate in the game because it will keep the games safer.

Even though we try to view the games as a time where the world comes together without all of the politics and that it is about the athletes, that can’t be farther from the truth. The Olympic Games are like a Thanksgiving dinner. There is the idea of the family coming together and enjoying a meal, but there’s bound to be gossiping and fighting and somebody will probably embarrass themselves.

I can probably bet ten dollars that Trump will say something embarrassingly ignorant and racist when he attends the event, but I guess we’ll have to see. Brace yourselves for the opening ceremonies on February 9th.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are

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"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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