6 Things We Want to See At the 2018 Winter Olympics - And One Ridiculous Wish
The Olympic games are here and Team Sterett is pretty charged up. In fact, we're so excited, we've compiled a list of 6 things we hope to see in Pyeongchang.
Plus one semi-ridiculous wish. Don't fault us if many of these involve American Gold. And lots of skiing and snowboarding.
1. American Gold on the Slopes
Top wish: We want to see Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn take home the gold! The American men's team is currently struggling due to the retirement of some of our biggest stars--and injury to others. But the women continue to excel and will definitely take center stage this year.
If Lindsey can stay healthy, she's always a front-runner when it comes to the speed events. Don't ever bet against her. And with her recent transition from slalom queen to multi-event threat, Mikaela Shiffrin is sure to grab some hardware.
Keep your DVR on. We are sure to see some gold on the slopes...and we may see some records go down in flames.
2. A Hockey Battle for the Ages?
We were going to say "American Gold" here, too, but we'll settle for a "battle for the ages" and not be total homers.
Ah, forget it. Go Team USA!
Oh, did I mention we are talking about women's hockey? That's right, the ladies side of the ice will be full of drama this year, as team USA is trying to shake off past whiffs to lock down their first gold since 1988. One of their key competitors is Hilary Knight, who we mentioned on The Female ACL last week.
Standing between Knight and the gold is the Canadian juggernaut. Hey, it's hockey, isn't it? Every medal worth winning goes through the Canadiens. Our Northern neighbors have defeated the U.S. Team in their last four meetings, including the gold medal game in Sochi. Whatever happens, it'll be a competition worth tuning in to.
3. Old Standbys, New Tricks, And New Faces in Snowboarding
Nobody is as obsessed with "progression" as snowboarders. In a sport that pushes the limits constantly, the word is omnipresent. Snowboarders are continually developing new spins, flips, and updated variations of old techniques.
So let's see the new tricks at the Olympics, gang!
Meanwhile, the sport continues to offer up plenty of drama. Take Shaun White. Once the kid-wonder of the sport, White is now a grizzled old vet gunning for his fourth Olympics. His journey has been heavily chronicled by Yahoo sports, which today released a video of his return from a training crash. Watch below, and we'll let them describe it:
"What happened next is part of Shaun White’s dramatic journey in his quest to make the U.S. Olympic team and go for gold at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea: a 186-mile helicopter ride to a hospital; emergency surgery; 62 stiches; and a 5-day stay in a New Zealand hospital."
Sounds sufficiently harrowing. Call us nostalgic, but we wouldn't mind seeing Shaun lock down a spot on the team and go for one last gold.
Meanwhile, on the women's side we'll be looking for a medal from American stalwart Jamie Anderson.
And 17-year old Chloe Kim is the current darling of the sport. Why? She has the proven ability to launch consecutive 1080 spins. That's something the other female competitors have been unable to match. Talk about progression!
5. Colorado Boy Airing It Out
Speaking of snowboarding, Let's go Colorado! Sure we have our share of Colorado-based Olympians in the games, but let's focus on newby Chris Corning.
This kid is stepping it up. He's the first person to qualify for the games in snowboarding this year, so he'll have plenty of attention, and we expect big things from the big-air phenom. He'll be doing double duty, also competing in the slopestyle event.
4. Everybody Staying Warm (and Using Tickets)
Early weather reports say it will be too darn cold for spectators! Yikes. If it truly is as frigid as the weather experts predict, we hope everybody packs the appropriate gear.
It's all about layers, people. Don't forget an extra pair of glove liners. And long undies. And how about bringing back those old-school ski masks? It's hard to root on your country with a frozen face.
Pardon the bad seqeu, but on that topic, Japan may use facial recognition software for athletes and coaches at the 2020 Olympics. Sounds like something out of the movie Minority Report, doesn't it? But the tech is currently available for smartphones, so it's actually a thing. You'd better enjoy 2018 as the last Olympics where you'll be able to use your Eddie The Eagle disguise to gain illicit entry to the games.
6. Torin Yater-Wallace Adding Gold To His Wild Ride
Torin Yater Wallace is one of freestyle skiing's most admired athletes. His smooth style and graceful flow on the hill make him a favorite to win halfpipe gold.
And while we all get tired of manufactured stories of Olympians overcoming obstacles, we can't help highlighting this guy. His life story reads like a Hollywood script.
In fact, it's so drama-packed that it's currently being turned into a documentary film. Most notably, Yater-Wallace was in coma in 2016, the result bacterial infection. He could have died. But instead he's back in action and poised to take the gold.
7. Zero injuries. Seriously.
This might be a ridiculous wish. But wouldn't it be great if all the athletes in the games managed to avoid injury?
Could 2018 be the year?
Ok, ok, we know better than anybody that it's not going to happen. But one thing we do hope to see is the top competitors staying healthy enough to give it their best. Nobody wins when the best have to sit out because of injury.
Cheers to a healthy, action-packed, and exciting Olympics. Viva Pyeongchang!