Excitement building for the Sochi Winter Olympics

Excitement building for the Sochi Winter Olympics

It’s almost time for the Winter Olympics, and people across the world are getting excited to see the world’s best athletes on the world’s biggest stage. This year the Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia which lies on the Eastern coast of the Black Sea just above the small country of Georgia. The Opening Ceremony will be held on February 6 and the Games will close on February 23. This is the first Olympics in Russia since the breakup of the USSR when the Games  were held in Moscow for the 1980 Olympics.

National pride and bragging rights are on the line when it comes to the Olympics. The United States has won the last three Olympic Games and has won four of the last six Games. The US is almost always in the top three when it comes to medal standings.  So far the US Teams seem to be primed for a gold medal run.

According to the Nielsen Company, the sport that is the most popular among viewers is Skiing. Freestyle Skiing had the most TV viewers in 2010 and Downhill Skiing was right after. Luge, a downhill sled race, is also a popular sport, followed by Snowboarding. Rounding out the top viewed Olympic sports are Figure Skating and Speed Skating.

Some notable American Olympians include Shaun White (Snowboard half-pipe), Gracie Gold (Figure Skating), Lolo Jones (Bobsleigh), and Bobby Brown (Skiing). White will attempt a three-peat for gold in the Half-pipe, while Lolo Jones and the 15 year old Gracie Gold compete in their first Winter Olympics. Notable names such as Lindsey Vonn and Apolo Anton Ohno are missing from the US team this year. Vonn has a serious knee injury that will prevent her from competing and Ohno has called it an Olympic career, and with a total of eight Olympic medals he will not return to competition, but he will join NBC’s coverage of the Games.

One of the great things about the Olympics is how easy it is to watch a sport and learn a lot about it. You may not know who the top Curling athlete in America is, you may not even know what Curling is, but after watching the Curling event for 15 minutes, it’s easy to pick up on how the sport works and how it should be played.

It’s always great to see the sense of nationalism that surrounds the Olympics games. You most likely have never met any of those American Olympians; you may not have even heard of them before, but seeing that American flag next to their name makes you cheer for them, no matter what. This is a time where we, the American people, come together as a country and show the world we are number one.

There will be 98 events in 15 Winter Sports disciplines. The United States are among the favorites to win the XXII Winter Olympic Games as they have the second most all-time Winter Olympic medals, trailing Norway by 50 medals.