In praise of the 2014 Winter Olympics

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

While hockey, skiing, figure skating and curling may not be the most popular sports in America, especially Pike County, Americans will have the opportunity over the next few weeks to see some of the best athletes in the world compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Much of the coverage heading in to these games has focused on security concerns, the risk of a possible terrorist attack and Russia’s laws concerning homosexuality.

We think, however, that these games will be full of storylines that capture the true Olympic spirit.

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The Olympics traditionally represent the power of sport to unite the world. Though the United State and Soviet Union boycotted certain Olympics at the height of the Cold War, on the whole, the Olympics have provided a stage where the world’s best athletes can compete with one another regardless of national or political orientation.

Every Olympics seems to have a figure or story that transcends the sports narrative. In 1980, the U.S. hockey team won the “Miracle on Ice’ over the Soviets at Lake Placid. In Lillehammer in 1994, Dan Jansen finally broke through to win his first gold in speed skating.

Even if winter sports are not your thing, try tuning in to a few events over the next few weeks. You might find that you enjoy a sport that you never knew existed. The worst-case scenario is that you will watch world-class athletes compete at a very high level.