by Henry Smith and Jake Beres
HENRY: While the Winter Olympics may be a little chilly, the tricks they do on the hills, the ice, and the freestyles are a sight to see. With Wildcats off the freestyle and salchow jumps in figure skating, the audience is constantly engaged and entertained. Although the United States typically receives fewer medals overall than in the Summer Olympics, winning isn’t everything, and the athletes always have to put up a fight in the Winter. Besides, the uncertainty surrounding who will be declared the victor only adds to the excitement.
JAKE: The USA has 2,520 medals which are almost 1000 more than the next closest country, meaning it is a true sight to see when we compete. In the Winter Olympics, we have only won a total of 282 medals. People like to see their team win so it is a morale booster to watch the Summer Olympics. The summer games are always a “hot” program to catch. With the wild throws in wrestling and judo, to the knockout punches in boxing and high flying dunks and spikes in basketball and volleyball, the Summer Olympics truly mesmerize viewers with the spectacle that is the games.
HENRY: Since the events cannot be viewed year-round, all of the Winter Olympics are much more engaging because they are not as common. Many Summer Olympic events, such as basketball, are commonly viewed year-round, making them less appealing to watch. Moreover, many summer events have become normalized as viewers often participate in them themselves, albeit recreationally, including running and swimming. Contrasting this, the public rarely gets to watch the skeleton and luge, only adding to the appeal. Even the more unpopular winter sports, like curling, become interesting due to their unfamiliarity.
JAKE: People know how games/matches work in the Summer Olympics which makes it easier to watch as opposed to in the Winter Olympics where hardly anybody knows how to score events such as curling. Many people feel lost watching the winter games, which is yet another reason why the summer games are better. When you watch a sport, it makes more sense when you know common terms or scoring of the game.
Team Vs. Individual:
HENRY: Most of the Winter sports are individual, which means that the one person controls exactly how well they do. If there is an error it is nobody’s fault except the person who made it, and if you do not fail you are just a better athlete. With team sports, there are many ways for an amazing athlete to be messed up by a teammate. And with only 15 sports, Winter Olympics are much easier to keep track of.
JAKE: There are 29 individual sports and 12 team, giving you a choice as to whether you would like to watch a team or individual sport, and in the Winter Olympics there are only 15 total sports, giving you very little variety. Seeing a team perfectly execute their goals is like watching a well-oiled machine. In men’s basketball, for example, we almost always have the best team, and there is nothing like watching our brightest stars work together to annihilate the competition.
HENRY: In the Winter Olympics in 1980 at Lake Placid, New York, the U.S. hockey team, comprised of minor league players and college players, beat the Soviet Union’s hockey team, an All-Star exclusive team from all around the Soviet Union. Often referred to as the “Miracle on Ice”, the U.S. players played the games of their lives and won the game 4-3. This game eased the tension between Russia and U.S., and about 10 years after the game many Russians came to the U.S. to play in the NHL.
JAKE: In the Summer games in 1936 in Berlin, the youngest Olympic champion ever was 13 year old Marjorie Gestring, who won gold in springboard diving competing for the USA. There was some more magic at those 1936 games in which there was a lot of tension between the US and Germany due to the rise of the Nazi party. In this Olympiad Jesse Owens, a runner from the USA won 4 gold medals and broke 5 world records in 45 minutes. This is especially great due to the racial prejudice that Hitler and the Nazis as a whole had because Jesse Owens was an African American and triumphed over racism. In the 2008 games in Beijing, Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals, setting the record for most golds in one Olympics, beating another American swimmer, Mark Spitz, who had 7 in the 1972 games. In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, 20 year old Kyle Snyder became the youngest American wrestler to win Olympic gold, and the youngest American to complete the “triple crown” of wrestling (NCAA champion, World champion, Olympic champion). These are just a few stories of American triumph in the Summer Olympics, a world competition in which America dominates.