California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Winter Olympics Come To A Close

    The 2018 Winter Olympics came to a close Sunday Feb. 25 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea.

    The games featured seven snow sports, five ice sports and three sliding sports. PyeongChang brought six new events into this year’s Winter Olympics, including men’s and women’s Snowboard Big Air, men’s and women’s Speed Skating Mass Start, Curling Mixed Doubles and the Alpine Skiing Team event.

    In the end, Norway held on to first place with 39 medals, Germany came in second with 31 medals and Canada followed closely with 29 medals. The United States finished in fourth place with nine gold, eight silver and six bronze medals for 23 in total.

    Despite their rank, the United States made history during this year’s Winter Olympics. Maame Biney was the first black woman to qualify for Team USA’s Short Track Speed Skating Team and Gus Kenworthy was one of few openly gay male athletes on Team USA’s.

    California Lutheran University junior Mandy Avella said she thinks it is important to support athletes by watching the Winter Olympics at home.

    “I try to give sports that don’t get the recognition they deserve, recognition when they’re playing,” Avella said.

    Avella said she followed Figure Skating events closely in both pair and singles. She said she admires the athletes who complete such daring tricks.

    “I like the pairs because it’s really impressive how they have so much trust in each other to throw one another on top of a hard surface. It takes a lot of faith in your partner,” Avella said.

    Another historical mark made by Team USA was winning their one-hundredth gold medal, won by snowboarder Shaun White.

    In the final days of the 2018 Olympic Games, Team USA had a couple standout wins. John Shuster of Team USA’s Men’s Curling took home the gold in a close battle with Sweden. Team USA also took control of the snowboarding competition, winning four of the ten gold medals and 17-year-old standout Chloe Kim won the Halfpipe competition with an 8.5 margin.

    In a historical win, Team USA’s Women’s Hockey beat Team Canada 3-2 to take the gold medal for the first time in 20 years. Team USA and Team Canada have faced off for the last three Olympic finals, making Team USA’s win monumental. Former Cal Lutheran Knights Ice Hockey player Jeffrey Roberts shared his excitement when watching the game.

    “It went to overtime, then to a shootout and went to the sixth round of the shootout. All of us in our room were screaming, it was beautiful and they ended up scoring. It was a phenomenal game,” Roberts said.

    In every game, upsets happen and top contenders choke under pressure. Team USA’s 22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin won gold in the Giant Slalom Alpine Skiing early in the games, but dropped her reigning title on the slalom course the next day, finishing fourth.

    According to a press release by New Jersey Real-Time Sports, Shiffrin shared her frustration with her performance on the slalom course.

    “I’ve been skiing aggressively in slalom all season long. I’ve been confident, comfortable,” Shiffrin said. “Coming here and skiing the way I did, really conservative, was a huge disappointment. That’s how life goes.”

    Despite the small bumps in the road, Team USA managed to finish top five, trailing Canada by two gold medals and placing in front of the Netherlands by one gold medal

    Both Roberts and Avella, as former athletes, said they felt that the Olympic games unite athletes everywhere.

    “These athletes put in so much time and effort into perfecting their sport. Being able to compete in a sport across language barriers and across cultural differences, people are able to come together across the world to compete,” Roberts said.

    The next Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo, Japan in the summer of 2020. The games will mark 56 years since Tokyo last hosted.

    Catherine Slabaugh

    * This article was edited and updated at 6:43 p.m. 2/27/18.