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Sports

The worst sports in the Winter Olympics

| Thursday, February 10, 2022

Before I begin, let me say this I am not a winter sports expert. To be honest, I haven’t been skiing since I was five years old and I went snowboarding for the first time last year. I fall every time I ice skate and I have never in my life attempted a vast majority of the events present in the Winter Olympics. However, I do not need to be a good chef to judge good cooking, and I surely do not need to be an Olympic athlete to say which events I enjoy watching. 

A few days ago, my fellow sports writer Nate Moller wrote his top 11 Olympic sports “based on their level of enjoyment to watch and the athleticism required.” If you haven’t read his column, I highly recommend reading it before continuing with mine. 

Now, if you are anything like me, you instantly wonder why anyone would rank in the top 11 of anything. I honestly do not know. It becomes even more questionable when you realize there are only 15 different sports in the Winter Olympics. I am sure you do not want to read me go through all 15 Olympic sports. Instead I will be using my own judgment, as well as references to Nate’s column, to complement his ranking of 11 with my ranking of the four worst sports in the Olympics this year. 

4: Speed skating

Notice how this is not short-track speed skating (which after the big crash and drama at the race this past week, skyrocketed in my enjoyability list). While Nate did have short-track speed skating (ranked WAY too high in the #1 spot in my opinion), we can both agree that the relay version of the sport is way less interesting to watch. However, it’s at the fourth position because of the speed these individuals can go. As stated before, I can barely skate without falling so the fact that these athletes can stay on their feet while going at these speeds are absurd to me. 

3: Ski Jumping 

Ski jumping is cool to watch, the first time you watch it. Then, it is the same exact thing over and over again. They don’t do tricks or flips, they just jump and land (and sometimes fall). And then the next person jumps and lands (and sometimes falls). You watch it the first time and think “wow that’s crazy who would ever do that.” And the best thing I would recommend afterward is to change the channel to a different event. 

2: Cross-country Skiing

Now the only reason cross-country skiing is ranked above Nordic Combined is the fact that I have actually heard about it before reading Nate’s column. Cross-country skiing is the slowest and most boring sport to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure cross-country skiing is incredibly hard and you need a lot of strength and endurance to compete, but, I can’t help but yawn while watching this sport. Finding out that this sport stayed while skijoring, a sport where individuals skied through an obstacle while being pulled by a horse, was taken out of the Olympics, is blasphemous.  

1:  Nordic Combined 

Each Olympics, Nordic Combined gets a total of 5 viewers. Apparently, one of them works and writes for the Observer. I consider myself an avid Olympic watcher. Every two years I huddle around the TV with my family and friends to watch the top athletes perform. In saying this, I have never heard of Nordic Combined. I thought that I was the only one, this was until I asked a plethora of friends across campus who all said they had no clue what it was. The closest anyone got to the correct event was saying “Isn’t it skiing and shooting?” This confusion probably stems from the fact that Nordic Combined is not original and is literally just cross-country skiing with ski jumping. I can not fathom how Nate came to the conclusion that Nordic Combined is the second most interesting sport to watch.

Also, the feminist in me is screaming that it should not even be included if women are also not allowed to participate. 

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