Following Sunday’s Super Bowl, some might be tempted to say that the best sporting tradition involves America’s Game – football.
I beg to differ. The best sporting event is the world’s games – the Olympics.
Tracing back to ancient Greece, the Olympics have a lengthy and storied past. The games and traditions have changed – for example, today’s Olympics include winter sports. But the idea remains the same.
The Olympics are a chance for the world’s athletes to shine while representing their home countries on the biggest stage imaginable.
Heroes and villains are born on the grand stage.
Notable recent examples include Michael Phelps’ miraculous win in the 100-meter butterfly (his seventh gold medal in seven days) at the 2008 Beijing Games and Sidney Crosby’s gold medal-clinching goal for Canada (over Team USA) in Vancouver four years ago.
Countless other unforgettable moments occurred before my time. Track star Jesse Owens scored a huge win for the Americans at the 1936 Berlin Games. Herb Brooks led Team USA to an upset victory over the USSR (now Russia), as the Americans won the gold medal for hockey in Lake Placid in 1980.
This year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia promises to be no less exciting. (Shameless plug: check out our Olympic preview on page 10). I can’t wait to watch.
Unfortunately, due to the time difference, many of the events will be forced into tape delay. Some of the events will air at inconvenient times.
But that should not deter you from watching the Olympics. This is truly a tradition unlike any other.
Besides the event’s storied history, there are three reasons you should watch the Olympics over the course of the next month.
1. Patriotism – As Chrysler perfectly stated in its Super Bowl ad, “Is there anything more American than America?” Even if you’re not a sports fan, cheering on your home country can be pretty awesome.
2. Obscure sports – Sports besides football, baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer rarely get major airtime. Now is the chance to watch all the cool, obscure events like bobsled racing and figure skating. My personal favorite is curling. Watching as men with brooms shout and curl a “rock” is really fun.
3. NHL on hiatus – Since so many NHL players will be in the Olympics, the NHL takes a hiatus beginning on Sunday. What else are you going to watch? The NBA?
So go ahead and watch some Olympic curling and hockey. You won’t be disappointed.