One athlete has been in the spotlight at the Winter Olympics since he won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Shaun White, professional snowboarder, specializes in the half pipe event. After a fall during his run, he placed fourth, receiving no medals.
“I know I could never do something like that, but it was really disappointing that America didn’t get on the podium,” said sophomore Micha Perez.
Even though he did not win a medal in these games, White continues to inspire other athletes.
“What I thought was so cool about that was the reaction from the young man who won the gold medal. He idolized Shaun White, so when Shaun had finished his run, the young guy ran over and hugged him,” said Spanish teacher Maureen Ruiz del Arbol. “He was excited because he had won the gold, but he was also so thrilled to be with Shaun White too.”
The Olympics were created to let countries come together and compete in athletic events.
“That’s what I really thought was so great about [the Olympics]. All these competitors are from different places, but even though they’re competing against each other, they respect and are friends with each other because they share the love of the same sport. It breaks down the barriers between language and countries. That’s what I thought was really cool about [the games],” said Ruiz del Arbol.
Ruiz del Arbol has a unique perspective on the games because of the mix of cultures in her household. Her parents are from England and Ireland, and her husband comes from many different cultures.
“My husband was born in Peru, but grew up in Peru, Spain, and Puerto Rico… I don’t know that he’s supporting any particular team. He watches for the competition. I think [my whole family] likes to watch for the competition, not for a particular team or competitors based on where they’re from,” said Ruiz del Arbol.
Despite political controversy, this year’s games are being held in Sochi, a town near the Black Sea. Russia’s snowy winters make Sochi a fitting host.
“It’s a great setting for the Winter Olympics, with all the snow,” said Perez.
The closing ceremonies will be held on Feb. 23.
By: Molly Thal Co-Editor-in-Chief