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The games can also serve as an interesting historical reference and can reflect on what had been going on in the world at that time or even specifically that country that time.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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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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