Americans in the Olympics

CHRISTOPHER COLOSI

SPORTS EDITOR

The 2018 Winter Olympics were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where athletes from the United States were ready to take on the world once more. There were not nearly as many viewers as the previous Winter Olympics had. The United States came in fourth in the fnal medal count with 23.

The Olympics broadcasts on NBC averaged almost 18 million viewers a night over the two-week span, a 17% decrease from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and a 27% drop from the 2010 Vancouver games. The 2018 games are now offcially the least-viewed Olympic games in television history, but they still captured some amazing triumphs by athletes from all around the globe.

Americans brought home nine total gold medals, headlined by snowboarders Shaun White and 17-year-old Chloe Kim, alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin and both the women’s hockey and men’s curling teams. The only three countries who had more total medals than the United States were Norway with 39, Germany with 31, and Canada with 29.

Perhaps the most fascinating story involving Americans at the Olympics was that of the Nigerian bobsled team. Composed of three Nigerian-American women, who hold dual citizenship in the US and in Nigeria, they raced for their home country of Nigeria, the team did not win, but their determination and drive to prosper was far more valuable than a gold medal.

The captain of the team, Seun Adigun, picked up bobsledding just 15 months prior to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, doing the unimaginable. After competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics for the United States representing the track and feld team, Adigun was determined to take on a new challenge.

Along with Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere, the three women became the first bobsled team in Olympic history to represent an African nation. The groundbreaking trio grew up in the United States and met while training for track and feld events in Houston, Texas. After building their own bobsled for practice and naming it the ‘Mayflower’, the women raised enough money to be able to get sponsored and compete in the Olympics.

Though they came in last place out of 20 teams, the fact that they even qualified is simply amazing and their story will be a show of strength and hope for many years to come.

At 33 years old, American alpine skier Lindsey Vonn prepared for what was most likely her last Olympics. Despite missing the 2014 Winter Games due to a knee surgery, Vonn still had three medals of each kind, gold, silver and bronze, in international alpine ski competitions going into her event. Even though she was one of the oldest competitors, her excellence on the slopes was enough for her to snag a fourth career bronze medal, giving her a total of 10 for her career.

The most talked about athlete on Facebook during the 2014 Olympics in Russia, Shaun White, continued his success grabbing his third career gold medal. White, who has 13 gold medals in the X-Games, was also severely injured prior to the recent Olympics. While training in New Zealand, he crashed into the edge of a super pipe, leaving him with 62 stitches on his face. These athletes represent the resiliency and determination Americans take pride in, and they did a great job of portraying the true meaning of the Olympic Games.