The Olympics is a time to cheer on our newest and oldest favorite athletes. It is a time when American spirit is at a high. Many love the Olympics for its record-breaking, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring performances that leave people both excited and proud of their country. As the Olympic flame is lit, and the games begin, people get excited about the gold medal performances to come.
Overall, The United States finished fourth with twenty-three total medals. Norway finished first with thirty-eight medals, followed by Germany and Canada who finished with thirty-one and twenty-nine medals, respectively. This was the least amount of medals won by America since the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games, in which America won only thirteen medals.
Despite the overall disappointment of the small number of medals, many record-breaking performances occurred during the Olympics. Chloe Kim, a seventeen-year-old American snowboarder, became the world’s youngest female snowboarding gold medallist. Red Gerard, an American snowboarder who is also seventeen, took the world record for the youngest male snowboarding gold medallist. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a female hockey player from the United States, broke the record for the fastest two goals made by a player in an Olympic ice hockey match in an awe-inspiring six seconds.
One of the most notable Olympic stories is that of American figure skater Nathan Chen. After winning the spot for the Olympics by a landslide, most people felt he had the greatest chance at winning a gold medal. In his first of three performances, Chen fell and this cost him a place in the top three. The second performance did not go much better, resulting in a fall into seventeenth place. Chen, deciding he had nothing else to lose, went out and performed his final skate – which included a record-breaking six quad jumps. This shot his rank upward from almost at the bottom to nearly winning a medal. His remarkable journey from the bottom to the top was one of the most inspiring moments of the Olympics.
These awe-inspiring stories of great successes and great sacrifices are the reason so many are fascinated with the Olympics. Watching these contestants, some new and some veterans, somehow sparks a bit of hope in each of us that we, too, can overcome great obstacles to reap the benefits of great success. After all, this is the embodiment of the American Spirit.