Why this year’s Olympics were the worst this century

Wikimedia Commons/AxG

Wikimedia Commons/AxG

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Out of all the Olympiad’s that have happened in my lifetime, though it might not be a lot, these Winter Olympics in PyeongChang were by far the most boring, lackadaisical and unintriguing games that I have witnessed. Period.

With the American team not living up to their hype until the final week or so of competition and seemingly every event won by a European nation or the host country South Korea, the games felt lopsided and uneventful. No real shocking moments that the world of sports prides itself on.

Don’t get me wrong – the US Men’s Curling team is the exception to that last statement and watching the underdog go from nothing to something while I fought the flu was truly incredible.

Team Shuster wouldn’t let me doze off.

But, other than the “Miracurl on Ice,” and some snowboarding heroics, the American athletes looked a step behind their foreign competition.

The numbers go to show for it – the United States finished with 23 medals total, placing fourth – their lowest final ranking since the 1998 Nagano Olympics, where the team could only muster 13 total medals, placing a whopping fifth.

America, who is thought of as the world superpower in practically whatever it does, could not hang with the likes of smaller nations that we typically dominate in really any category – from economics to athletics.

Which brings the question: with a country of 325 million unique individuals and resources out-the-wazoo, why could the United States not compete in these 2018 games like it typically does?

Simply put, we aren’t the kings of the hill anymore.

New gladiators in the winter sports realm have risen above us, giving more effort and have surpassed our endless sums of Olympic-Committee money and influence.

The drive from numerous United States athletes was lost and many toppled under the high expectations put on them. Foreign powers took it to the weak American competition. Hard.

And for a US Citizen like myself, seeing your homeland flop at the Olympics doesn’t really make you eager to watch more. It’s unbearable disappointment.

Mix that with the visuals seen on television as a just regular viewer and the whole vibe of the world coming together to compete and win just wasn’t there.

From the NBC cameras, it looked as if PyeongChang just threw down some fake snow on a couple mountains, popped up some arenas in a rural area, all jammed in with one another and called it good. The real winter-villages like Vancouver and Lake Placid, the heavy snow, the breath flowing off athletes lips, the intensity flowing throughout, adds to the atmosphere of what the Winter Olympics should be and used to be.

I remember when I heard for the first time where the 2018 games were to be held and I thought – ‘“PyeongChang, what? Why in South Korea?” I just felt it from the beginning; the location and excitement of it all were not there for this Olympiad. Catching moments of sunny and clear skies with fans walking around in short sleeve shirts just added to that.

From my nation’s performance to the natural variables and taking all the action in on repeat, I was simply disappointed with how the Olympics went this year.

Tokyo, you’re next. Turn it around. Please.

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Why this year’s Olympics were the worst this century