I am a huge fan of winter sports. Snowboarding, ice skating, and yes, even curling; I’m a fan of them all. Naturally this means that I’m excited about the the Winter Olympics which officially started yesterday. Here are three things I’m looking forward to seeing over the course of the next few weeks:
This year’s Olympic mens hockey team is a bit different from the teams of games past. Why? Because the NHL decided not to allow their players to take time off to play for their home countries. As a result, this year’s hockey team is made up of primarily college-age players who have not yet started their professional hockey careers. While this is disappointing to many NHL players, it presents a unique opportunity for the players who are playing for Team USA who otherwise wouldn’t have made the team. If this sounds familiar to you then you probably remember of know about the similar situation that happened during the 1980 games. That team? That inexperienced team? They went to beat the former Soviet Union in dramatic fashion. In fact, they made a movie about that team titled “Miracle on Ice.”
So how will this young, inexperienced team do against other countries? Well, there are a lot of similarities being thrown around between this year’s team and the team from 1980, including the fact that the players from Russia (though not representing Russia which has been banned from the games) are expected to win gold. However, despite just getting to know each other as teammates, they have also been noted to be bonding and practicing well.
Will history repeat itself?
With 14 players from 2014’s team (which brought home silver, by the way) returning, this year’s women’s hockey team is expected to do fairly well. Exactly how far they’ll go is obviously up in the air. The team does have a new coach, although new as in 2017 new, which many cause one t0 hesitate a bit on the thought of a potential gold, but when considering that players have been raving about their new coach who they say has helped to change the team’s style of play to a style that is more “dynamic” than before, well…go for gold, ladies!
Admittedly, while I am a huge fan of this sport, I’ve only been snowboarding once and that one time did not go very well. I do love watching it, though. Shaun White has always made it look so easy. Unfortunately, White suffered some pretty serious injuries last fall and while he is well enough to compete, many are doubtful he’ll regain his crown. From the ladies side, Chloe Kim is getting a lot of attention and rightfully so! The 17-year recently, “landed back-to-back 1080s (three full revolutions in the air)” in January at the X-Games, something the no female snowboarder has been able to do before. Kim, who has been showcased by NBC in numerous ads, is expected to win gold in the half-pipe competition. Count me in on watching that!