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2018 Winter Olympic Games look to heat up campus

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For most of us, the winter months are spent dodging the cold and hibernating inside with your favorite blanket. In Pyeonchang, South Korea, things will be heating up Feb. 9, as the 23rd Winter Olympics begin.

Host of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, Pyeonchang welcomes athletes from 92 different countries to compete in their respective sports.

The Olympics brings a great sense of pride for one’s country. A chance to root on your country on the biggest stage of all, and hopefully bring home gold. That exuberance has made its way to campus. Buffalo State is host to many international students from all over the world, and some anxiously await the games to begin.

Andrea Spadoni, junior, is a native of Castelnuovo, Italy. Spadoni, a member of the Buffalo State football team, is ready to cheer on his country as it faces off against the world, especially the United States.

“Personally, it makes a huge difference when we beat the U.S. instead of someone else. I’ve lived here for a while and when we beat them, I get to make fun of all my American friends for it,” Spadoni said.

Some competitions mean more than others, and as for Italy, the super-giant slalom or “super-G” is one of their more important events in the Winter Games.

“It would mean the most to win gold in a super G competition. This is because in the past, we have always been dominant in these races. This is also the event we take most pride in,” he said. “Also, when Italy is in competition for any type of medal, I always find a way to follow them no matter what. We don’t collect many medals, so I want to enjoy every single one of them.”

Italy, a country most renowned for soccer on the world stage, hopes to make a chilling impact on this year’s Winter Games.

Italy is not the only country in the Olympics that is represented on campus. Sofiane Hamadi, junior, and member of the men’s soccer team, hails from Marseille, France. He looks forward to watching his homeland take to the slopes.

“I like alpine skiing. Winter sports are different, they are not our strength in France. Soccer, rugby, and tennis are our national sports and fans are very proud,” Hamadi said.

Olympic athletes in France seem to share similar fame as those in the United States. Like in the United States, the most decorated athletes reach fame and stardom while the vast majority of athletes return home to their normal lives and families.

“Olympic athletes are regular people for the most part, but a few of them are celebrities. If they don’t cheat and give 100 percent effort they will be very well respected,”  Hamadi said.

The same goes for Italy as well. “Olympic athletes are well considered during the games, but throughout the years they kind of go back to their status of anonymity. Unfortunately, our country is all about soccer, so unless it’s time for the Olympics, people don’t truly care about them,” Spadoni said.

France, Italy, and the United States all share one tremendous achievement. They represent three of the 12 countries that have sent athletes to every single Winter Games since the first Winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix, France.

The Winter Olympics have been widely renowned for its hockey competition. Every four years, the NHL season comes to a complete halt while its players, return home to wear their countries’ colors and compete for the gold.

The 2018 Winter Games marks the first time since 1998 that the NHL will not be cooperating and letting their players compete in the games. This opens the doors for many other events to take center stage as people across the world tune in to watch their countries showcased to the world

Whether it’s bobsledding, curling, or even the snowboarding halfpipe competition, there will be no shortage of competitive winter sports as the opening ceremonies are set to begin Friday Feb. 9, at 6 a.m.(live) and 8 p.m. (taped) on NBC.

Email: silviaaw01@mail.buffalostate.edu

Twitter: @AlexSilvia716

 

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2018 Winter Olympic Games look to heat up campus