So, it’s another year of Olympics, this time in Sochi, Russia. And while the Winter Olympics are traditionally less watched and less popular than the Summer Olympics (because the large part of the world that doesn’t get regular snow can still be interested, I presume) there are still a lot of interesting and exciting events happening this year! Not to mention, for those of you who might not be interested in the sports, this is still a tense, politically charged scene, given Putin’s past comments and legislation against the LGBT community, and the specter of a boycott still looms. As so often happens when a country with a history of human rights abuses chooses to hold the Olympics, the windows are thrown open on those abuses, and it will be interesting to see how Russia chooses to portray itself through their press exposure and the pageantry of the opening ceremony (which will be held at 12:14p.m. on Feb. 7th, on NBC).
There are going to be a lot of well-known athletes here this time as well. For snowboarding fans, Shaun White will be making his return. For louge fans, look out for Tucker West, the youngest American lougist ever, who will be making his debut appearance in Sochi. In women’s hockey, Hilary Knight will be returning. Haunted by a previous silver medal win in Vancouver, this time she is back with a vengeance and going for the gold. In the figure skating competitions, look out for Ashley Wagner, a controversial pick for the team, but one with big plans.
And perhaps most importantly, for the fans of Cool Runnings, the Jamaican Bobsled Team is again coming to the Olympics, thanks to the financing of the crowd-based funding websites Kickstarter and Crowdtilt, as well as cryptocurrency donations of an enthusiastic internet following known as Dogecoin, who have yet again found the tropical island nation a place in the Winter Olympics after their initial qualification was threatened by a lack of funds. However they’ll be up against some incredibly tough competition, particularly from the Swiss. While the Swiss may be neutral in every major international political decision, on the bobsledding course they show no mercy and have, in the history of the Olympics, won a total of 30 medals.
But all of this is relatively immaterial. One question should be on the minds of any casual or veteran viewer of the Olympics: is the U.S. bringing a curling team? Yes. Yes we are.