Garfield Senior High School

A few things about the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

The Winter Olympics are over, and there are quite a lot of things to talk about. Specifically, the doping scandal involving the Russian Athletes and the tension between the two Koreas are both hot topics that need to be covered.

 

It goes without saying, representing your country at the Olympic Games is the greatest honor that any athlete can partake in. Competing against the world’s best on the grandest stage is the highlight of every athlete’s career. Russia though, went too far. Funding a state doping program is absurd and the response from the Olympic Committee is not enough. The initial ban on Russian athletes had issues, but it was somewhat fair. Although these measures may have been unfair to those who tested negative for doping, it was fair to take action against the foul play on Russia’s part. To fix this, Russian athletes were allowed to compete, but only under the Olympic flag. This seemed more fair, until the actual games played out. The athletes did compete under the olympic flag, but were called the “Olympic athletes of Russia.” In other words, simply just “Russia”.

The severity of the doping scandal seemed to diminish as the days went on. And even so, two “Olympic athletes of Russia”  tested positive for doping during the actual games. Seriously! Being competitive is one thing, but doping to gain an unfair and unethical advantage is going too far. When you are doping to get an advantage in the curling event, something is seriously wrong! It is okay to be competitive, especially in that environment. But to compromise the legitimacy of the competition is beyond immoral. The Olympic Committee has to take this kind of infraction more seriously.

Another situation to gain traction was the relationship between host South Korea and North Korea, two countries that have been at war since 1950. Hope for the loosening of tensions arose with the Olympics, for the sake of sports. Hosting the global games is important, and having North Korea so close was a danger. To the surprise of the world, the two countries entered talks for the first time in years. Not only did the Koreas hold the unity flag, but they also competed together in the hockey event. Although the teams did not reside in the same building, their joint appearance was seen as a step forward to patch up the past.

Yet, it seems like it would be difficult to coach a team as tense as that, which is exactly how coach Sarah Murray felt. “This whole situation is out of our control,” said Murray, “so we’re trying to make the best of it.” Although on the surface the united team seemed well-oiled and flawless, actual competition was mayhem for the coach and the players.

As for the United States of America, they made a comeback in medals. Halfway through the games, the U.S. had 10 medals. They were on track for the lowest amount of medals earned in decades. By the end of the games, however, they had 23 placing them at 4th. The results were amazing, and they beat out the “Olympic athletes of Russia.” Overall the Olympics were huge. It’s now time to set our sights on the next host of the winter games: Beijing, China.

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