The 2018 Olympic Winter Games have had moments of glory and a share of controversies. The joys of victory and the agonies of loss are flashed and reflashed over our screens with the nauseating commentators who are paid way too much for their on-screen moments.
It seems that the games can be pure gold or mired in dross. The dross of human erected barriers and gamesmanship always seem to have a podium at these games.
The games are about people who attempt physical and mental challenges which most of us cannot imagine or physically perform. They are a microcosm of what the human race can achieve and become in relationship to the various geopolitical regions which artificially divide us as a planet traversing the cosmos.
Of course the divide of nations can be seen in the divisions inside nations as well, especially the USA. In the past when an Olympian messed up, there used to be an outpouring of sympathy and empathy.
Lindsey Vonn in her Super G run on Saturday just had a few moments at the end of her run where disappointment reared its head. She said,
“I gave it everything I had. I have no regrets. I made a mistake on the bottom. But that’s what happens in super-G. I’m disappointed but I’m not upset because all you can do is give it your best, and that’s what I did.”
She was tied for sixth place. It was a very sad moment for her.
Unfortunately, there were those on social media who had to bombard the Olympian with taunts and derision for her placing. Why? Political animosity and just plain rudeness reared their heads in a moment of defeat for a great athlete.
Politics is a nasty business. It has become even nastier in the last several years and has spilled over into sports and the entertainment industry.
In the Olympian Charter Fundamental Principle 6 declares
“The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
These fundamental principles of human rights belong to everyone on this planet traversing the cosmos. Unfortunately, many men, women and children face the daily challenge of surviving in certain geopolitical areas dotting this “pale blue dot”.
Going back to the Games, the story of 22 year-old Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic is what makes sports history. After her “Miracle on Snow” outperforming Austria’s Anna Veith and Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather to win the Gold, she said in that moment
“I really don’t know what happened. You tell me … I was riding. I really don’t know what happened. It was great.”
She thought it was a mistake in scoring at first. She had been ranked in the World Cup Alpine Skiing rating as 68th and 43rd in the Super G.
It proves that no matter where you are placed by others that you can achieve gold be it in the Games or in life. It depends on you and your dedication and preparation for the tasks at hand.
Many times the Mascot of the Games seems to be just a symbol. However, the mascot is more than a symbol in Korea.
The mascot for the Winter Games is Soohorang. The mascot represents the White Tiger, the true guardian of Korea, and the guardian of the global Olympians who grace the land with their dreams, hopes and passions.
History tends to record the winners and those who missed the mark by being off their game for those several moments or minutes in the arena. Like our travels on the road of life, the Games are pit stops.
We have our golden moments as well as silver and bronze. Many times we have no medal for our life journey.
In closing some quotes from those who are there living their dream:
“Here you are doing this really wonderful thing, traveling around the world. But you feel depressed because the pressure to perform beats you down, you feel relegated to a number or you are lonely.” – USA Alpine skier Tim Jitloff
“Anything from a high-five, to a ‘good job’, to a slap on the back, to help with lines. In this kind of sport where it’s every man for himself, if someone is willing to go the extra mile, even if it’s just to tell you that you’re doing good, that means the world to an athlete like myself who’s on the biggest stage in a sport.” – Anthony Watson, Jamaica’s skeleton athlete
“I don’t think that a lot of people have qualified for the Olympics in four months, trying to learn a sport that it really takes years and years to learn… but if I can go down an iced track at 80 miles per hour there is nothing in this world that I can’t do.” – Simidele Adeagbo, Africa’s first female skeleton racer
“Four years ago when I was left off the team, I wanted to make another Olympic team, and I knew I would really have to be something special. So to become the first to land a triple axel at the Olympic Games is historical, and no one can take that away from me.” – USA Mirai Nagasu, figure skater
“They help me a lot, 22 family members are here to cheer and stand with me during my last Olympics. It’s incredible to have them all here.” – Ireen Wust, Dutch speed skater
Family—isn’t this what life is all about on this majestic orb hanging in infinite space? Every single individual is a member of the human family of Earth.
G. D. Williams © 2018
PyeongChang Olympic Logo
The emblem design combines elements of Hangul (the Korean alphabet) and Cheon-ji-in (Korea’s traditional humanism). According to the Olympics’ official website, the logo’s formation stems “from the first consonants of each syllable in the word ‘PyeongChang’ when it is written in Hangul.” The emblem’s first character functions in another role too, representing “a gathering place where the three elements of Cheon-ji-in – heaven, earth, and human – are in harmony.”
The second character “symbolizes snow and ice, as well as the athletes’ stellar performances.” Additionally, the logo employs “five traditional Korean colors – black, blue/green, yellow, red, and white.” They correspond with the colors found in the Olympic flag as well.
The symbol is based on the first consonants in Pyeong and Chang in the Korean alphabet, also known as Hangul. It employs the five Olympic colours, that are also culturally significant in Korea. It was created by HA Jong-joo, a Korean corporate identity consultant.
Taken together, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic emblem embodies the harmonious synergy between the sky, land and people. Set in a majestic setting of snow and ice, athletes and people from around the world come together in an open square in PyeongChang to celebrate the finest winter sport athletes and the greatest winter sport festival.
The Olympic Charter
Soohorang, the mascot of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, took its motif from the white tiger.
The white tiger has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal.
“Sooho”, meaning protection in Korean, symbolises the protection offered to the athletes, spectators and other participants of the 2018 Games. “Rang” comes from the middle letter of “Ho-rang-i”, the Korean word for “tiger,” and is also the last letter of “Jeong-seon A-ri-rang”, a cherished traditional folk song of Gangwon Province, where the Games will be held.
Soohorang not only has a challenging spirit and passion, but is also a trustworthy friend who protects the athletes, spectators and all the participants of the Olympic Games.
Lindsey Vonn returned to the slopes at the Olympics for the first time since 2010, and her first event did not go as hoped.
Vonn competed in the super-G in South Korea on Saturday and was first to go down the course. She was doing great until the end when she had a bobble and skidded off the course. The mistake was enough to keep her out of medal contention.
She went up the hill a snowboarder but came down an Olympic champion skier. That’s one way to tell the story of Ester Ledecka, the Czech athlete who stunned the world — and herself — by winning the women’s Super-G race at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.