Every two years I gear up for my favourite international sports tournament: the Olympics. It’s a chance to become completely invested in sports that I have a) never heard of, b) never cared for before and c) pretend like I am an expert in all things related.
As much as I love the Summer Olympics, the Winter ones can be more exciting for a Canadian to watch. Mostly because as a nation, we just perform better and it’s actually impressive that we place so high up in the standings for such a small country (we are one tenth the size of the US, and a little over a third the size of Germany). That being said: there are still plenty of sports that I, as a Canadian, have never, and will never attempt. One: ski jumping. Two: Skeleton. Three: Luge. Four: Ice Dancing.
The last one is tricky, because it’s a sport that I know the fundamentals of. I know how to skate, but will I ever be able to skate like they do? Absolutely not. The technique and skill is so beyond impressive, which is why I love to watch, and judge, and pretend like I know what I’m talking about. As if I too were some professional figure skater who after 25 years of skating, retired and settled down on the Olympic Committee as a professional judge.
The other cool thing about the Olympics these days is that you can follow your favourite athletes on social media. As if I could get more invested in something I know nothing about, now I can follow Tessa and Scott (our fabulous ice dancing champions) as if they were friends of my own.
But the social media platform isn’t always the best thing for our athletes. Being able to see their progress leading up to the Olympics is inspiring, and catching them doing every-day things like grocery shopping makes them ‘one of us’, but spectators often believe their opinions are better than those of professionals.
Look at Gabrielle Daleman for example. She is one of our figure skating gals, and upon being part of the team event, many took to social media to question her position as our solo female skater over other girls. She said these comments were harsh not only on her skating ability (we won gold in this event by the way), but also on her costume. People were quick to point out that her skirt was see through, and thought it inappropriate for an international stage. Ultimately this led to Daleman shutting off her social media until her competition was complete. This 20 year old had bigger goals than fending off online trolls: The OLYMPICS.
Facebook: The Olympic Sport of Juggling Social Media
Twitter: Athletes Learn to Juggle Social Media Accounts #PyeongChang2018