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USA Olympics team merits appreciation

Kinta Kail, Co Editor-in-Chief

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The goal for the United States prior to the Winter Olympics was to win 37 medals; however, the USA team took away 23 medals—9 gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze, ranking fourth overall, according to olympic.org.
This was the American team’s worst performance in the Winter Olympics since the 1988 Nagano games, where it won 13 medals. However, alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn said America’s efforts should not be judged strictly by the medal count.
There are still some notable successes for the team. Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in cross-country skiing for the U.S. in the women’s team sprint event. John Shuster led his team to America’s first-ever gold medal in curling. And, snowboarder Shaun White brought home his 13th gold medal after winning the halfpipe event.
Many athletes missed the chance at gold medals, however, such as Vonn and figure skater Nathan Chen. Chen placed 17th in the men’s figure skating short program. But, he was able to make Olympic history with six quadruple jumps in the long program.
Vonn was one of the Americans with the most medal potential. She finished third in the downhill event, tied for sixth in super-G (super giant slalom) and did not finish in the alpine combined event after she went off-course.
Vonn makes a great point about not being disappointed in our loot. These athletes have dedicated their lives to a sport they have loved. The time, talent and preparation leading up to the games is not a task that is handled lightly. It takes a certain individual with an immense amount of willpower and devotion to perform the stunts and abilities these people are able to manage in their sleep.
If one takes the time to look back on the 2,515 medals that America has won in the past, they will realize the team has not failed in the long run. They strive every day to become better at what they do—the least we can do is support them on their journey. Plus, they’re in the Olympics—that is a feat in itself. Stop judging from your recliner, and put on some red, white and blue.

editorial cartoon by Emily Schoeppner

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USA Olympics team merits appreciation