The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will conclude this Sunday. I was curious to see what WIU students had to say about this year’s games. I personally had a hard time keeping up with many of the games this winter because of the time difference we have with Russia: they are 10 hours ahead. However, this hasn’t stopped everyone at WIU from showing their red, white and blue spirit.
Senior Marek Sak, an exercise science major, was one of the people who woke up at 6 a.m. to watch the U.S.A. Hockey Team win against Slovakia yesterday. He explained why he woke up so early on a school day to watch a few of the games. “I really enjoy watching hockey … I always watch the Blackhawks play and (Blackhawks right wing/center, Patrick) Kane was on the U.S.A team,” Sak said. Sak wasn’t the only hockey enthusiast watching the Olympics. Senior Abby Sherman, a political science major, said her favorite sport is also hockey. “America has held their own, especially the women’s team!” Sherman exclaimed. Although she decided not to wake up early like Sak, that didn’t stop her from watching the Americans fight for the gold. “I have to record them (the Olympics) since they are on at 6:30 a.m.,” Sherman said. It was a big upset when Canada beat the US in OT for the gold medal.
Hockey isn’t the only Olympic favorite among WIU students. Freshman Tim Brociek, an athletic training major, enjoys watching curling and the snowboarding halfpipe games. Brociek has been pleased with the U.S.A.’s results, except when Shaun White placed fourth in the men’s halfpipe finals. “I was upset when he didn’t get the gold,” Brociek said. However, that disappointment hasn’t stopped him from watching the Winter Games. Like Sak, Brociek and his roommate have woken up early to watch the Olympics. “We have to watch it on my laptop because we don’t have the channel in the dorms,” he explained. He sometimes even tries to catch a peak of the games when he should be studying.
Senior Brian Brouder, an information systems major, really enjoys watching snowboarding, hockey and downhill skiing. “I like these because they are more interesting than like figure skating, and I can relate to them since I have played hockey and go snow skiing every winter,” Brouder said. He has also watched some of the curling and the mogul skiing.
Perhaps due to the ten-hour time difference, Western wasn’t able to host a viewing party for the Olympics for students to all come together. However as it appears, that doesn’t stop WIU students from interacting with one another and watching the games together.
The time difference also hasn’t stopped some of WIU’s staff from watching the games as well! Assistant Director of Alumni Programs Kim Stuuan and Alumni Programs Clerk Carrie Lowderman explained their thoughts on the Olympics. Stuuan listed off her favorite sports to watch which included curling (of course), both men’s and women’s hockey, snowboarding, skiing and a little bit of the figure skating. With the games coming to an end, she can’t help but feel a little disappointed. She really wanted Shaun White to win the gold and was also dissatisfied with the women’s hockey loss last night and the men’s hockey loss this afternoon. “I watched the men’s hockey game today during lunch,” Stuuan said. The curlers also let her down, “Our curlers look like normal people; the guy looked like any other guy. I was rooting for him to win! But, no, the Canadians looking like real athletes, won.” Lowderman also watched some of the games. She said she is fascinated by the bobsledding. “Holy cow, do those guys go fast!” Lowderman exclaimed.
It’s great to see the WIU community come together to show pride not only in our school but in our nation as well. Let’s go U.S.A. and go ‘Necks!