Column: The Winter Scare-lympics

Katie Dalton, Head Multimedia Editor

Exaggerating the talent, courage and stamina of Olympic athletes is wholly and utterly fair. However, the winter Olympics take the courage piece to a whole new level. This is why I stand by my case that the winter Olympics are the scariest set of events between them and the summer Olympics. 

There are many reasons why one may argue that gymnastics is one of the most dangerous sports, which occurs during the summer Olympics. I agree that the risk of gymnastics sets itself apart from other events, but when a person truly understands the pure craziness of a ski jump 10-15 feet off the ground traveling over 300 yards of distance, they may switch their opinion on which event they think might be the most extreme. 

Then, there’s classic figure skating. This graceful event combines choreography, skating abilities and balance all into one. Britannica describes the sport as “a sport in which ice skaters, singly or in pairs, perform freestyle movements of jumps, spins, lifts, and footwork in a graceful manner.” This graceful manner of mentality changed in my mind when I realized how close sharp blades of ice skates get within the skin while performing in pairs. I know that the people who compete in the winter Olympics are professional athletes, but I still am worried about the fact that the blades of ice skates come in inches of slicing through the skin. 

I know what you are thinking. Figure skating? Out of all the winter Olympic events that someone could choose it was figure skating? I’m not finished yet. My next dangerously chosen event is the beloved Bobsleigh. The Bobsleigh event, to put it shortly, is just a really fast rocket on blades with a team of daredevils crammed inside the interior. The world record for the fastest speed ever was reported to be 125 mph. Now that right there is a speed ticket times two. I’ll give credit to those daredevils. They step into the bobsleigh knowing that it could flip or crash in the middle of any run. That is courage and trust. Trust in friction, that’s for sure.

My noted honorable mentions include snowboarding, hockey, speed skating and skeleton. Snowboarding is pretty self-explanatory due to the fact that the athletes launch themselves into the air while attempting to perform difficult and flashy tricks. Hockey is known for notoriously stealing players’ teeth. Speed skating is unbelievably skilled at making sure at least 25% of the athletes fall within the race. Skeleton is just, skeleton. The Olympics introduces the event as involving “plummeting head-first down a steep and treacherous ice track on a tiny sled.” I do not think I need to explain myself anymore. 

I am definitely satisfied by what the winter Olympics has to offer for entertainment, and I am equally intrigued to watch because of the risks that the athletes take in these events. If you ask me to decide between whether I prefer the winter or summer Olympics, I may still reply back with summer, but I stand by my case that the winter Olympics are the scariest set of events between them and the summer Olympics.