KIND OF WINNING IN KIND OF A WINTER WONDERLAND

“I’ve seen it before, It happens all the time, You’re closing the door, You leave the world behind, You’re digging for gold.”
-Foreigner, “Cold as Ice”

Every four winters daredevils fly down steep mountains, athletes twirl and balance on a tiny blade, controlled machines race down ice paths, rubber cylinders fly by faces and into nets, and contestants show their stamina and will power battling the cold elements and pushing the human body to the limit through precision and focus.

Countries that have no business competing on snow wave their colors proudly, large contingents of intimidation from the north joyfully march their masses for the world to see, and the westerners walk with their heads high, smiling out of confidence and arrogance.

The United States sometimes forgets that we’re in the middle of the world essentially; there are higher elevations, there are more snowy areas, and there are other great athletes in other nations that are outstanding at really weird things. Yet, we manage to expect greatness in every aspect of life, and pout if we don’t succeed. Oh, being a teenage country (in retrospect) is so difficult. No one understands what it’s like to be us! Wah.

The 2014 Winter Olympics was held in a world that is assumed to be dark and cold, but greatly misunderstood (as are most things that aren’t experienced firsthand). The opening ceremonies in Sochi, Russia were brilliant (except for one asterisk, *literally). The display showed the world Russian culture and history; the extravagant nation of precision and emotion (don’t forget vodka, cigarettes, and mean-sounding accents). It was extraordinary on the eyes and exciting for the spirit as the athletes took center stage to begin a two-week journey with one goal in sight.

The United States, just like every other country, expected to bite into gold as much as possible. However, life is full of imperfections, but how one reacts to the results shows the rest of the world what a country was built on. Now, through pictures (and a writer’s laziness): USA’s journey as a country.

Happiness…
Sage people
Sage Kotsenburg, photo courtesy of People

Dominance…
Ski men espn
USA Men’s Ski Slopestyle, photo courtesy of ESPN

Team Work…
Meryl and Charile fansided
Meryl Davis & Charlie White, photo courtesy of Fansided

Fun…
Kate Hansen cbssports
Kate Hansen, photo courtesy of CBS

Hard Work…
Bode popwrapped
Bode Miller, photo courtesy of Popwrapped

Perseverance…
Lolo Jones usatoday
Lolo Jones, photo courtesy of USA Today

Disappointment…
Shaun white yahoo
Shaun White, photo courtesy of Yahoo

Heartbreak…
USA hockey 2 espn
USA Women’s Hockey, photo courtesy of ESPN
Hockey weei
USA Men’s Hockey, photo courtesy of WEEI

Athleticism…
Team USA npr
Team USA, photo courtesy of NPR

This is, of course, America’s side of everything, but the real winner was Russia, statistically. Here were the final standings:

Russia: 33 (most gold medals)
USA: 28 (most bronze medals, but somehow second)
Norway: 26 (most wins in weird events with the lowest ratings)
Canada: 25 (most joked aboot)
Netherlands: 24 (most weed)

Kazakhstan: 1 (most made fun of by Sacha Baron Cohen)

There’s a reason the games happen every four years; the amount of sacrifice these athletes go through to perfect their bodies and mind is grueling. All to become the single greatest person out of 7.147 billion people in the world in their one event; to go down in history or to lose by a tenth of a second or point; to hear their national anthem being played with gold wrapped around their neck letting the whole world know that they did it for the pride of their nation. It’s simply amazing; the sporting world impresses once again and proves that humans are capable of remarkable things. These athletes aren’t just dumb jocks, they are intelligent and mentally strong individuals; people that show tears, smiles, composure, and will before and after, but hide as many emotions as possible during the competition to prove they can handle the pressure of the world’s eyes.

Plus they save stray dogs.

The two-week spectacle came to end with a wonderful closing ceremony; fireworks, art, and a little humor. However, even winning the Olympics wasn’t satisfactory enough to bring Russians happiness as they took one of the cutest symbols in the world and made it sad: a teddy bear crying. I’m sure they were tears of joy (maybe), but what a host and what an Olympics. Thank you, Russia.

…and thanks for not detaining all the male figure skaters and women speed skaters.

Manfred, T. (2014). Retrieved From http://www.businessinsider.com/olympic-medal-count-2014-2 on February 28, 2014

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