Now that we finally have the Super Bowl out of the way, it’s time to look forward to the Winter Olympics.
You can bet that I’m excited for this. All the days of waiting for the next Winter Olympics every four years always seem to drag on and personally, I almost prefer watching the Winter Olympics over the summer games (even though I have nothing against the Summer Olympics and watching the U.S. men’s basketball team win gold for a third consecutive time in Rio was satisfying).
But there’s something unique about the Winter Olympics for me that makes it more entertaining.
Maybe it’s the opportunity to watch curling and bobsledding. Or maybe it’s because there’s slightly more of an underdog role for team USA, when you think about it.
The U.S. Winter Olympic team doesn’t usually finish at the top of the medal standings (though they usually come close). But they don’t dominate the world like the Summer Olympic team does. Team USA may win the gold medal in men’s and women’s basketball every four years but as for ice hockey? I have yet to see the U.S. men win the gold in my lifetime while the women’s last gold medal came in Nagano, Japan in 1998.
But for the next two weeks, everyone around the world will tune in and whether or not you care about winter sports, there’s still something to watch for in these next two weeks.
This year’s Winter Olympics will be even more fun because it’s on the other side of the world in Pyeongchang, South Korea, (15 hours ahead of our time zone) which means a lot of events will happen in the middle of the night. Best of all, NBC has finally embraced showing live coverage of the events (though some will still be shown on tape delay on prime time), and you can bet that I’ll be watching curling and hockey at 4 a.m.
As for the events themselves, there’s a plethora of storylines. Lindsey Vonn is back after missing out four years ago to injury and should own the competition in the downhill skiing. Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin returns from her gold medal performance in 2014 and will likely win every single event she’s in.
There’s the U.S. women’s hockey team who will try to unseat the four-time defending gold medal winners from Canada. Then there’s the Nigerian women’s bobsled team who are the first Winter Olympic athletes from Africa. Speaking of bobsledding, we have the sequel to “Cool Runnings” with Jamaica’s first women’s bobsled team qualifying this year.
Then of course, there’s the men’s hockey tournament and with the NHL not allowing players under contract to compete this year, the gold medal is up for grabs.
So enjoy the 2018 Winter Olympics and set your alarm clocks to 3 a.m. We only get two weeks until another four-year wait.