By Shannon Hart – 1851 Staff
The 2018 Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang, South Korea marked the twenty-third running of the global event. The Olympic Games offer an opportunity for individuals to represent their sport and nationality. With 15 sports represented by 75 countries, the Olympic Games are a special experience for all those involved.In recent times, there has been troubling occurrences and uncertainty around the globe causing turmoil and hostility. Personally, I feel the Olympics is a time where we can put our differences aside and unite under one common interest: pride for our country and the passion for sports. Despite the many language barriers and cultural differences, sports are universal. Sports are meant to bring people together and require athletes to work as a team.
When an athlete competes in the Olympic Games they are not just representing themselves, they embody an entire nation. An athlete is an ambassador for their country, sport, and the global sports community.
The Olympics have even brought families closer together. For example, Korean hockey player Marissa Brandt was born in South Korea, adopted as an infant, and has lived an American lifestyle ever since. Brandt and her sister, Hannah, shared a passion for hockey. When given the opportunity for Hannah to play for the United States and Marissa being asked to join the Korean unified team, there was no doubt it was meant to be.
Athletes come from all parts of a country competing for professional, amateur, or collegiate teams, but when they come together they represent one nation. Respective sports support one another, cheering on their fellow American, Australian, or German teammates. If a nation can unite as one, the world should unite as one.
Chloe Kim is a first-generation Korean-American Olympic gold medalist in the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe. Competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kim is another example of how the national stage of sports has brought people together. South Korea is home to Kim’s parents, who were there to witness their daughter’s gold medal victory.
The Olympic Games represent much more than the best athletes in the world, it signifies unity and compassion. Thank you to the Olympics for bringing our nations together and joining one another in a continued effort of world peace.