Sochi Winter Olympics

Confession: I'm not the biggest sports fan. You may have thought differently if you followed me on social media throughout playoffs and the Super Bowl, because I was totally caught up in the Seahawks action. I do love attending Mariners, Seahawks and Husky games, but I'm not a super fan. Hockey is my absolute favorite and supporting our WHL team, The Everett Silvertips, is one of our favorite things to do. Other than that, I hardly watch games on TV, I can't name very many players, I don't understand stats, and I have no clue what goes on in fantasy leagues. I just don't care that much. For some reason though, I really love the Olympics. I prefer the summer games, but I'm definitely interested in some winter events too. Maybe it's the cheesy idea of all these nations coming together to celebrate the best athletes in the world? I have no idea, but during the games I'm a huge sports nut and SUPER patriotic. I went to the Winter Olympics in 2010 when Vancouver hosted the games. I also saw the Salt Lake City facilities when we vacationed there in 2013. I am into it!

There has been a lot of concerns and controversy surrounding the Sochi Olympics: LGBT intolerance, human rights violations, political instability, excessive spending, environmental impact, terrorism, poisoning stray dogs, economic corruption, location, mafia, construction, security, weather, and of course the poor conditions of training, competing, and living facilities. Yikes! But isn't a big part of the Olympics putting aside differences and respecting different cultures? Let's just focus on the games, shall we? (But seriously, follow @SochiProblems on twitter. Hilarious!) I caught the slopestyle qualifications and downhill training last night, but I'm really excited for the opening ceremony tonight and can't wait for the main events! Here's who I'm rooting for:

Mikaela Shiffrin is the youngest American slalom world champion at 18-years old and is favored to take gold after winning seven World Cup races. I cannot wrap my head around 18-year old Olympians. Get it, girl!

Steve Holcomb helped win the gold in 2010 as the pilot of the "Night Train" four-man bobsled after a 62-year losing streak for Team USA. He's setting his hopes higher this year, trying to win gold in the two- and four-man bobsled events, which has only been done five times.

Lolo Jones is one of only ten athletes to compete in both the summer and winter games. She failed to medal as a hurdler in 2012 and is using bobsledding as a form of cross-training for Rio. She took the silver in the World Cup and gold in FIBT World Championships. She's always getting a lot of heat, but I like her. I hope she wins her first ever Olympic medal on the women's bobsled team!

Bode Miller is the most decorated American male in the history of Alpine skiing with five medals. He is only the sixth American to participate in five Winter Games and if he wins he'll be the oldest man (at 36) to stand on the podium in an Alpine event. He has a bad attitude, is often offensive, has a scandalous personal life, and probably has a drinking problem. A lot of people hate him, but he's an incredible athlete and I kinda love him. I hope he reins it in this year and just shows what he's made of.

Gracie Gold isn't a exactly a favorite, but she does have the best chance of a top-three finish in women's figure skating. This would be huge for Team USA who failed to medal in 2010, which hasn't happened since 1964! Let's hope she brings back something.

Patrick Kane has two Stanley Cups and an MVP playoff trophy as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, but as a top player for Team USA he wants to bring the gold home for men's hockey after 2010's overtime loss to Canada, which resulted in a silver medal. He'll be up against NHL teammate Jonathan Towes on the Canadian team.

Noelle Pikus-Pace has been a skeleton racer since 2001 and won five medals at FIBT. In 2005, she suffered a broken leg when she was hit by a bobsled that failed to stop, so the gold medal favorite couldn't compete in 2006. She took some time off to have a couple babies, then came in fourth in 2010, missing the bronze by a tenth of a second. I really hope she ends her career on a high note in Sochi. Of the 230 American Olympians, 22 of them have children and only three are mothers. Crazy!

Shani Davis holds the world record and two gold medals in the 1,000-meter speed skating event. He also has the world record and two silver medals in the 1,500-meter event. Now he has a shot at becoming the first American male to win three consecutive gold medals in the winter games. He's also a favorite in the 500-meter race.

Shaun White is also trying for a three-peat. Since his event is coming up on Tuesday, he may be the first American ever to get three gold medals in three separate winter games. He recently withdrew from his other event (slopestyle) to focus on the halfpipe. Can I just say how much better he looks with short hair? Love it.

Sarah Hendrickson is the current world champion ski jumper. She suffered a knee injury in August, but recovered in time for the first ever women's ski jump event in Olympics history (even though it's a K-90 hill rather than the men's K-120). I'm rooting for the 19-year old gold medal favorite!

Maryl Davis and Charlie White have been skating together since 1997 and are six-time national ice dancing champions. They won the silver in 2010 and are hoping to bring home the first gold medal ever for the US in this event, with steep competition from Canada.

What events are you going to watch?
Who are you rooting for?


Jen K said...

Thank you so much for doing this breakdown. I don't know many of the winter athletes. I'm pumped!

Suze said...

I completely agree with you about putting aside our differences. The olympics are one of my favorite things- I have a post about it coming on Tuesday!- and I am trying not to focus on all the controversies surrounding the games and trying to focus on the games themselves. I. AM. SO. EXCITED.
Speaking of the SLC Olympics, my dad got to go and do some of the emergency services stuff for it- he is the director of 911 here- so he brought me back some Olympic gear and took some awesome pictures. It is so very cool. I'm totally jealous that you went to Vancouver for them! We hosted an Olympic festival, which isn't really the same thing, when I was 10. I was still super impressed by the athletes though.

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I'll be watching! The Olympics also bring out my patriotism. Go USA!

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

I'm all for the USA but I never watch the olympics. Other than Shawn White I have no clue who any of these people are and won't watch. Gosh I am such a humbug. ;)

Misty C. said...

Love sports. Love the Olympics. I'm going to watch what I can but won't be recording blocks of it like I do during the summer events. I just don't have the time.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Great post I know nothing about winter sports, in fact I know nothing about any sports

Mrs. Jones said...

I'm fascinated by Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner, and LOVE Davis/White in ice dancing. They really make it look so much more incredible than I ever remember it being when I was little! Go USA!

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

I almost CRIED last night with Maryl & Charlie! Even though they look like a Disney couple. PERFECTION.