The Winter Olympics were first introduced five years after the modern Olympics in 1896. They have come a long way since it was first established as the Nordic Games where only athletes in Scandinavian countries could play. Just this fact alone is drastically different, with roughly 88 countries qualified from all around the world for Sochi 2014. Among the fifteen winter Olympic sports, a new component to figure skating has been added called a team event, where skaters will skate as a team to total up the most points.
This year, there has been much to say about the location of the Winter Olympic games. Politics and human rights acts of the games have stemmed into our awareness even on the home page of Google. This quote was under the Google Doodle, in which every letter had a sport and was a different rainbow color.
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” – HYPERLINK “https://www.google.com/” l “q=olympic+charter”Olympic Charter
This is a quote that Google placed under their search bar on their home page on February 6th, the first day of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. There has been much controversy as to what this part of the Olympic Charter will mean for Sochi, Russia- a country where by law, bans the information through propaganda of homosexuality to those under the age of 18. This has brought widespread protesting in the LGBT community to have the winter games in Russia. Russia has consented that their legislation will not affect those who attend or partake in the games but still is opposed to taking away anti-propaganda laws in Sochi. The IOC, or the International Olympic Committee has still implemented the act of Principle 6 in the Olympic Charter which states that no athlete can be discriminated or protested against for showing displays of support for the LGBT community.
So what do the winter Olympics mean to you? Are they like the Superbowl of winter sports that come on television every four years? Do you watch them with your family or your sports team? Do you have a favorite sport or country you root for? Is your enthusiasm in a player’s story, in a sport, or in the display of nationalism and pride for the USA teams? As this is a sporting event that brings nations of different color and tongue, there should be a value in accepting the players and the games. There is no greater nationalism that happens every two years than that of all different participating nations, coming together under one flag- the Olympic Flag. We become a world united. These games give athletes all around the world to celebrate not only sports, but freedom, justice, and humanity. The Olympic Creed states that “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” It is not just the athletes who can bear this in mind in the games, but viewers and audiences who can relate this creed to their everyday lives.