4 years ago, I remember struggling to search everywhere online for clips of the Sochi Winter Olympics (heck! I even forgot it was in Sochi; I thought it was in Canada!); I had just entered my first year of college and I remember thinking at the time that it sucked to miss out on this once in every four years event, because for the most part, it was a tradition for my family and I to watch the Olympics. For Winter especially, I loved watching figure skating, and that was it. But the thing that stuck out to me at that time, in 2014, was the fact that I kept thinking in my mind, “You know what? In four years, I will be out of college, and I will be able to watch the Olympics again on TV!” Not only that, but when I found out the next Olympics was going to be in South Korea, I leaped at that possibility to be able to go and visit Korea for the sake of this special event. At that time, my mom and I had made a somewhat vague deal of possibly going to Hong Kong and then Pyeongchang.
Yet four years later, here I am, still in college, but not in a dorm anymore, but happier, because I finally got more resourceful and was able to access the Olympics on the NBC website. I swear, four years ago, their website made it hard as hell to watch even little clips; it was even harder to search for them on YouTube, because a) no one posted them and b) NBC probably didn’t want low viewership, so they just made it hard for those clips to be made publicly available that easily.
I must say, the figure skating part of Olympics will always excite me, and this year, it excited me, but for different reasons. First off, I couldn’t help but notice that for both men’s and women’s individual figure skating, at least 2 out of the 3 representatives were Asian American rather than white. That was something, I think probably because it had been a while since I saw an Asian American in figure skating, and especially after figure skating sort of died down for me with the retirements of greats like Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan. To be quite honest, the representatives just didn’t stand out as much as those greats did oh so many years ago; I think now, figure skating is starting to be more about nailing difficult jumps; as much as I do like seeing Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen (the latter of whom does have an artistic presence about her), Mirai is a little bit less artistic and Karen is quite shaky in nailing jumps. The other representative, Bradie, is also great at nailing jumps, but still a bit raw when it comes to the expressive component. Now that both the men’s, pairs, and ice dancing have completed, I do have to say that I was a bit disappointed in the results. It has been a while since the U.S. has placed in men’s and pairs, and for a minute, I thought Nathan Chen would be able to skate a great program, land all his quads, and possibly medal, so it was quite shocking and devastating to hear about his rough short program and team event, where he fell for almost every jump he took. Still, it was nice to see his redemption in the long program, where he ended up placing fifth for the overall total.
I must say, however, that this year was the first year that I truly paid attention to ice dance. I never thought too highly of ice dance, maybe because I thought it wasn’t as exciting or technical to watch, but this year, it was all because of the Shib Sibs. I think I was drawn to them because they were a team of siblings; it’s very rare to see a pair of siblings teaming up together; what’s more, they are good at skating and their positive and fun air that they bring about them because they are siblings just makes it all the more reason to root for them. Anyways, while I wished that they had won gold or silver, I am glad that in the end, they did medal for bronze. I am also glad that I got introduced to the Canadian and French ice dance teams because (especially for the Canadians) boy were they good; what I mean is that they were truly maturely and artistically in the music itself; they added a bit more of their style to the song itself, something that I think the Shibutanis still lack by a teensy tiny bit.
I also have to give another shout-out to Chloe Kim, who won gold medal at age 17 for the women’s halfpipe in snowboarding. Yes! Another Asian American, yes! And for those who haven’t read or watched the interview on the sacrifices and the relationship her father shares with her, go watch it. It’s really moving and it really does reflect the extent that Asian immigrants will go to ensure their children a good future.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts for now. Let me know in the comments below if you guys have watched the Olympics thus far, and if so, which parts do you like the most?