Winter Olympics Bring Fire, Ice, and Everything Nice


Matilda Melkonian

“Rooting for both [St. Kitts and Nevis] feels like embracing both parts of my identity,” said Sarane James ’19.

With the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, countries from all over the world put their athletic abilities on display. In this year’s Olympics, composed of seven different sports, athletes competed in 102 events from February 9 to February 25, 2018. Here at Bronx Science, students prepared to support their choice countries, see their favorite athletes, or just enjoy watching the sports.

Eighty-five countries had at least one athlete participating in the Winter Olympics, and with Bronx Science comprised of students from so many different backgrounds, it is rare to find a student who does not have ties to another country. For Yan Fen (Yanny) Liang ’19, the Olympics gave her a doorway between her American identity and her family in China. “I was born in China, and I still have family there. However, I now live in America and have family here as well, so I feel allegiance to both countries,” Liang said.

“Russians are very patriotic, and to not be able to compete under their own flag is demoralizing.”

Many students also feel that the Olympics are necessary for our country to step back and take a breather from political and social tensions. “The United States is in much disunity in this political climate,” said Aidan Domondon ’21. “One thing that has never failed to unify people is sport. Rooting for the United States somehow gives us as viewers the same pride the athletes have,” Domondon.

In early December 2017, Russia was banned from participating in the Winter Olympics of 2018 due to an investigation led by the International Olympic Committee, in which Russia was caught in a doping scandal during several recent Olympics. Many students find the punishment to be fair, feeling that it sends a concise message to the nation and to President Putin that such behavior is unacceptable, and that it sets a precedent for other countries. Simultaneously, many also feel that athletes uninvolved deserved the chance to participate in the games.

“I think that athletes who were not involved should be able to compete under the Russian flag, said Alexander (Sasha) Izeman ‘18. “Russians are very patriotic, and to not be able to compete under their own flag is demoralizing.”

Despite rising tensions in foreign relations, many still find the Winter Olympics to be a good excuse to enjoy some sports and root for their countries. “The opening ceremony always captures the spirit of the Olympics for me; it’s fun to see all the countries and people who are participating in the Olympics,” said Sarane James ’19. “And the performance that the host country puts on is always amazing!”