Why The U.S. Leading The Medal Count In The Olympics Is A Big Deal

Why The U.S. Leading The Medal Count In The Olympics Is A Big Deal

Especially in this summer of despair.
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The Olympics is an event like no other. It’s the one time every four years the entire world comes together to celebrate talent, athleticism and the power of human perseverance. Athletes of all sports, backgrounds, races and countries are brought together in a true battle of the best of the best. The notion of the Olympics in Rio was the only thing keeping many people from losing their minds this summer.

It’s been a tough year in the United States, a violent year. The summer has been filled with some of the most heinous crimes a human being could commit against another human being. And the ongoing war between the political parties hasn’t made matters much better.

The nation has been very much divided this summer. People disagree, arguments break out, arguments turn to violence and hateful speech, and it has seemed as though nothing is a “winning” scenario. The rumors of Rio de Janeiro being “unsafe” for the Olympics just seemed like the icing on the crap-cake that was the summer of 2016.

Then, Team USA, with swimmer Michael Phelps carrying the American flag, walked out with gusto at the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Waving, smiling, with a shining sense of pride about them, our athletes were there to show the world what America is really made of.

I don’t know about you all, but I was touched. For the first time in a long time, I felt like we were going to be okay. We just had to hold on to moments like this. Moments where we feel on top of the world; where we know a whole country is standing behind us, rooting for us. Moments where we can all come together for one common goal: To win.

Team USA now leads the medal count with Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky’s wins Aug. 9 in swimming. Nine Gold, 8 Silver and 9 Bronze puts us above greats like China, Russia and Australia.

Whoever said winning wasn’t everything has never seen swimmer Cody Miller take home a bronze medal. I’ve never seen anyone that excited about third place.

But that’s the whole point. It’s incredible that the United States – or any country for that matter – has talented enough athletes to even compete, let alone place. And to be blunt, the athletes themselves and us as a nation have every right to celebrate. No, winning isn’t everything, but sometimes it helps.

We deserve to feel like “us” again. To feel like the best, be the best and be so extraordinarily happy that we forget – just for a second – the harsh times behind us, and no doubt, the rough times ahead.

If we can rally together to watch a bunch of sporting events, and cheer our country on, we can come together to conquer larger obstacles as well. And I have faith that we will.

Cover Image Credit: eonline.com

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5 Ways To Make The Winter Olympics Way More Entertaining

A few ideas on how to elevate the 2022 Winter Olympics.
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'Tis the season for the best of the best to gather for the 2018 Winter Olympic games and display the epitome of athletic ability.

Although they are undeniably impressive, the couch potato in me wonders how teenagers are winning gold metals while I’m on day two of sweatpants and shoving food in my face.

While I watch, I can’t help but think of a few ways the Olympics could be a bit more amusing and, even if it’s just me, a bit less of a harsh reality check.

1. Have the athletes exchange events.

Admittedly, this isn’t an original idea but it’s one of my favorites. What if, at the end of the Olympics, we had all the people that won gold in their event do a completely different event than they have been trained for?

It would certainly make me feel a bit better seeing a speed skater do a figure skating routine. Of course, it would have to be within reason because some of the events – jumping off a large hill and flying through the air, for example – probably wouldn’t be safe without the proper training first.

This idea may be better suited for the Summer Olympics, where we could watch the gymnasts try to doggy-paddle their way to victory.

2. Put blades on the hands of the figure skaters.

I had this thought yesterday while watching the women figure skating qualifiers. They do such an amazing job skating on their feet that I couldn’t help but think that it would

be pretty cool if we slapped some blades on their hands and watched them figure the rest out.

Sidenote: that gif is a French figure skater Surya Bonaly, who was able to successfully do backflips on the ice. Apparently, the move was so dangerous that they had to outlaw it from the Olympics in order to discourage athletes from attempting it.

3. Interview the team speed skaters about their teammates' butts.

While watching the women’s team speed skating, I couldn’t help but notice that every time one player was exchanged for another, the old player gave the new player a boost with a push to the butt.

I know it was probably immature to laugh at, but I laughed anyway. I just really want to have one of the reporters that interview the athletes after their event to ask the skaters about the quality of butt within their team.

I’m just curious…for a friend…

4. Put those flying squirrel suits on the ski jumpers.

This is very unsafe, but I think if we worked on it hard enough, we could figure out a way to make it safer. I know that they get great airtime just coming off the hill, but imagine

if we put one of those wingsuits on them and really watched them go.

5. Make everyone dress the way the curlers do.

This needs no explanation. If you have ever seen a curling team, you are familiar with their

Vogue-worthy fashion statements.

Compared to those horrendous fringed gloves that the US team wore for their walk in the opening ceremony, I think curling pants would have been a better choice.

There are so many ways to make the Olympics a more fun – and also, in hindsight, more dangerous – spectacle. But, in reality, the most captivating part of the Olympics is watching the dreams of people from many countries and age ranges fulfill a life-long dream, regardless of how nice their butts are.


Cover Image Credit: Kevin Pedraja

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Adam Gaudette Has Put Himself On The Hockey Map

The Northeastern Husky thrived on one of college hockey’s biggest stages.
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Late round draft picks can be a tossup, but the Vancouver Canucks may have hit on their 2015 fifth round pick, forward Adam Gaudette.

Entering the draft that year, Gaudette was relatively unknown. He didn’t put up big numbers in the USHL, and as a Northeastern commit, Vancouver had to hold out hope that he would develop well enough in college to eventually contribute a little in the NHL. Nobody expected his development to come the far, though.

To the surprise of many, Gaudette has been consistently performing at a high level since he arrived at Northeastern. Gaudette currently leads the nation with 24 goals, rapidly approaching his total of 26 from the year prior. His 47 points overall this season ranks also places him at the top of the statistical leaderboard, where the closest player to him is his teammate Daryl Sikura with 41 points. His 16 multi-point games are also some of the tops in the NCAA this year, and he even became Northeastern’s all-time leader in power play goals with 31 across his years playing for the school. As an alternate captain for the Huskies, he also shows strong leadership skills.

With Northeastern competing in the annual Beanpot tournament, Gaudette finally got the recognition he deserves. The Beanpot is a tournament played in the NHL’s Boston Bruins’ arena in which the four major ice hockey schools in the Boston area compete. Beginning in the 1952-53 NCAA ice hockey season, the Beanpot has been a staple in Massachusetts, mostly dominated by both Boston College and Boston University, who have a combined 50 titles out of 66 that have been played. With Northeastern looking for just its fifth title win, Gaudette scored three goals in the final, completing his hat-trick with an empty net goal to secure a 5-2 win in the tournament. Guadette earned the Most Valuable Player trophy for his performance as Northeastern University won the Beanpot for the first time in 30 years.

Having a big stage only seemed to elevate his play, and with Northeastern in the middle of a successful season currently ranked inside the top 15 in the nation, they could make noise in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The Huskies have never won the Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and Gaudette is looking to help bring further success to a Northeastern program that has only been to the Frozen Four once.

To add to his resume, Gaudette is also a current nominee in the first round of voting for 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is the most prestigious award in college hockey, given to the play judged to be the top player in the nation. Former players who have won the award include Paul Kariya, Chris Drury, Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau. An award win would put Gaudette’s credentials over the top as he nears a possible NHL job.

Regardless if he earns any additional hardware to the Beanpot, Adam Gaudette is certainly higher on the Canucks’ radar as he continues to produce, and he may earn an entry-level contract from them sooner rather than later.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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