Best Show on Snow

Nolan Bailey, Staff Writer

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The drive, the passion, and the desire to win all are key traits that reside within most athletes, especially those who compete at the highest level. For those who are heading to Pyeongchang, South Korea, the host city of the 2018 Olympics, it is no exception.

You cannot make up the emotion and intensity that goes on at these games, that is what causes so much popularity. “I always try to find time to watch the Olympics” said ski racer Sawyer Richards. “ I love the excitement and competitive spirit of all the athletes especially when it comes to downhill racing. I love watching how fast the racers go down the mountain, and even some of the crashes are crazy.” So much hype is put on these events, even some events that no one would watch besides at the Olympics. “I love watching Bobsledding and Ski Jumping at the Olympics, they are such crazy sports that you would never normally see on TV  that are just so exciting to watch” says Will Quane.

The hype is at an all time high with big time stories like the North Koreans and South Koreans playing on a unified hockey team, as well as NHL players not participating this year. With no NHL players, this year’s favorite to win the Gold medal in men’s hockey is Russia, even though Russia is not allowed to compete in this year’s Olympics due to a doping scandal in 2014. However any athlete with a clean record was permitted by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to still compete for Russia, with some restrictions when receiving their medals. For the rest of the field, the Canadians are predicted to take second and the Americans are predicted for fifth, which is strongly impacted by NHL players not being allowed to play in the Olympics.

“Milford hockey player Dan Onofrio said that the US will do fine without any NHL players because of the things he saw while watching them play in the World Juniors where the US took 4th.” “The offense for the Americans was on fire and they kept the puck in their opponents zone almost the whole game. They got unlucky against the Swedish and Canadian teams who were very talented offensive and defensive.” said Onofrio.

With many Americans favored in their respected sports, people are looking forward to watching some local athletes compete. A West Bloomfield native and Alpine Valley snowboarder, Kyle Mack is a top contender in Slopestyle Snowboarding. Other Michigan locals include ice skaters including Evan Bates, Madison Chock, Madison Hubbell, Alex and Maia Shibutani, and hockey players Chad Billins, Megan Keller, Jim Slater, and James Wisniewski. In an interview with Ice Skater Rachel Scheske, she told me how the Shibutani’s siblings are a favorite in the ice dancing due to their fantastic chemistry and ability to skate under pressure. As well as Bradie Tennell is a favorite for gold in Figure Skating because of his talent that he brings to all parts of the competition.

This year, in Alpine Ski Racing, the US has some heavy favorites for gold, especially in the 22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, who won gold in Slalom in the 2014 games in Sochi. This year, she will compete to defend her gold in Slalom as well as make a podium appearance in Giant Slalom, Alpine Combined and possibly even in the speed events including, Super G, and Downhill. Another top US contender and teammate to Mikaela is veteran skier Lindsey Vonn, who is the most decorated female ski racer of all time. She will look to get on top of the podium in the Super G and Downhill events. On the men’s side, Ted Ligety will be looking to reclaim his gold in giant slalom from the Sochi. He has won gold in Giant Slalom twice in his career and is a heavy favorite in this year’s Olympics, looking like a challenger for the podium in Super G and Slalom as well.

In Slopestyle, Snowboarding the US has lots of young talent that will be looking to shock the world. One up and coming rider Red Gerard has had a breakout season leading up to the Olympics and will look to carry his momentum from all his victories to help get him onto the podium, hopefully to be joined by his teammates Kyle Mack, and Chris Corning. In the Halfpipe, the return of a legend will be happening as Shaun White will be competing in his fourth Olympics, hoping to get a third Gold Medal, along with Ben Ferguson, who is making his first Olympic appearance. On the women’s side, the 17 year old Chloe Kim is a favorite for gold as well as veteran rider Kelly Clark.

Throughout these Olympic games tears of joy, sadness and pride for one’s country brings out the best in oneself and one’s country. While having fan favorite events like ski racing, bobsled, and ice skating attract attention and country pride, while using ones uttermost effort to show pride and humiliation brings out the best in everyone and their country, all at the 2018 Winter  Olympics.

 

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Best Show on Snow