Considering the difficulty of the last two years, it’s a blessing to have the awe-inspiring competition of the 2022 Winter Olympics to marvel at this winter. God knows, these years have been rough for everyone, the world over. Starting in late 2019, the international pandemic literally rocked the planet, which led to human devastation and economic disaster.

We all needed an escape from such global madness.

 

And an escape we have found–in Beijing, China!

From February 4, 2022 – February 20, 2022 we are finding this distraction in the unbelievable talents of the international athletes who compete in this winter’s Olympics.

Two big stories to come out of the Olympics thus far concern a 15-year-old Russian female figure skater, Kamila Valieva, and U.S.A. hockey[1].  Valieva had tested positive for a banned substance, yet a judge recently ruled that she will still be allowed to compete in these Olympics. Needless to say, fans from other countries are up in arms over this ruling.

Why should someone who cheated get the chance to lawfully compete? Athletes from their respective countries did not cheat, yet this girl is treated the same as they?

The story is constantly developing, so we’ll see what is finally decided, and whether she is ultimately allowed to compete.

 

The second major story, which has significant meaning to us as Americans, is the story of the U.S. men’s hockey team, who’ve recently made it to the quarterfinals by beating Germany 3-2 in the preliminaries. They will now face Slovakia in the quarterfinals on Wed. Feb. 16 at 12:10pm (local time).

A men’s Olympic hockey winning streak such as this one is very reminiscent of the “Miracle on Ice,” 42 years ago. During the 1980 Winter Olympics, on February 22 in Lake Placid, New York a famous ice hockey game during the medal round of the men’s hockey tournament took place between the hosting United States and the Soviet Union. Although the Soviet Union was a four-time defending gold medalist, winning the gold medal in five of the six previous Winter Olympic Games, and heavily favored again in Lake Placid, the United States upset them and won 4-3.[2]

Today, during these very dismal and downtrodden months of life during a global pandemic, and the months just following it, we can all use inspiring, even heartening, distraction. No matter the wins and losses, Xes and Os, or the number of medals that come from Beijing 2022, everyone can look back on these 14 days to know what they truly meant to Americans and to people around the world.  To see athletes from all over the globe giving it their all to fiercely compete for two weeks in winter sports not always seen by other nations, or seen by the American viewing public, is not only an enjoyable feat, but an educational one.

Good luck to all as this fortnight ends…

 

[1]Kantchev, Geogi and Radnofsky, Louise. Updated Feb. 14, 2022. Court Allows Russian Figure Skater Kamila 

Valieva to Compete at Beijing Olympics Despite Failed Drug Test. WSJ.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/valieva-ruling-suspension-olympics-figure-skating-doping-11644818496


[2]Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Febraury 12, 2022. Miracle on Ice. Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_on_Ice.