Five Reasons Why We Love The Winter Olympics
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The Official Blog of SwimOutlet.com!
  • Feb

    Five Reasons Why We Love The Winter Olympics

    By SwimOutlet.com Staff

    We love the Winter Olympics here at SwimOutlet.com. Sure, our first love plays in warmer waters – the liquid kind, not frozen.

    But just because swimming is our true No. 1 doesn’t mean we can’t love all the great sports of the Winter Olympics, all of which use water in some form – snow or ice – as their playing field. That’s more than you can say for the Summer Olympics, in which tracks, mats, fields, courts and dirt among others make up the various surfaces for competition.

    In that sense, perhaps swimming has more in common with our winter brethren. We all need water in some form in order to compete! In truth, the Winter Games have some unique qualities that set it apart from the Summer version. Here’s five reasons we love the Winter Olympics (and just a few reasons why we’ll be watching the action in South Korea over the next two weeks).

    1) Unique venues – The enormity of the ski jumping hill, the scenery of alpine skiing and the snaking curvature of the bobsled track. The Winter Olympics have some very cool venues and settings and the outdoor ones often feature the backdrop of stunning mountains, snow glistening in the sun or a large white flakes falling from the sky. 

    2) Scenic host cities – The Summer Olympics are generally held in big metropolitan (and cosmopolitan) cities with the existing infrastructure to host such a big event. Back in earlier times, the Winter Olympics were held in small towns, villages even. Lake Placid, New York, which hosted the 1980 Winter Games before the dawn of corporate sponsorships, is just a main street alongside Mirror Lake with a ski mountain and cluster of venues nearby. While the days of the quaint, small mountain town hosting the Games (Lillehammer, population 25,000) is over, the host cities of the Winter Olympics are usually smaller, genteel places with incredible views and cozy restaurants, hotels and bars where people gather to watch the events unfold.

    3) Great champions – Sure, no one can match our own Michael Phelps but the Winter Olympics have their own unique champions. Our favorite might be Eric Heiden who swept all five events in the speed skating competition in 1980. In our sport that would be like Katie Ledecky winning the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle! The greatest Winter Olympian of all time is a Norwegian who competed in biathlon – combining cross-country skiing and shooting. The great Ole Einar Bjørndalen has 13 medals, more than any other swimmer except Phelps. The top American winter Olympian of all time is Apolo Ohno. He’ll be a commentator again in Pyeongchang.

    4) Sport Measured to the 1000th of a Second – Quick, what sporting event measures times to the thousandth of a second? It’s luge – that sledding event that takes place on the bobsled track where you lie on your back and steer with your feet pressed against the runners. How cool is it to have a time of 51.456. The winner of the men’s luge in Sochi 2014 won by .476 seconds – and that was AFTER four runs. Those are some crazy close finishes!

    5) Chance to cheer Red, White & Blue – So the Super Bowl just ended and it was a great game -- but if you weren’t from Boston or Philadelphia or maybe attended Michigan (Tom Brady) or Arizona (Nick Foles), did you REALLY care who won? With the Winter Olympics, you can cheer on the U.S. team and its athletes until you are (red, white and) blue in the face. And for that, we’ll always love the Winter Olympics -- now matter how frozen the water is!

    So don’t miss out on the fun over the next two and a half weeks. Check the NBCOlympics.com website for detailed TV listings with the events kicking off Thursday with curling action before Friday’s Opening Ceremony.

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