The 20th Winter Olympic Games ended Sunday after 16 days of competition in the Italian city of Torino. The most popular sports in the Olympics were alpine skiing, ice hockey, speed skating, snowboarding and figure skating.
Many students from the University of La Verne enjoyed the Olympics once in a while during the week, but they did not follow them closely to find out what exactly was going on. Probably the sport that was most followed by La Verne students was skiing.
“My favorite sports are snowboarding and downhill skiing,” said sophomore Sara Eazell.
Eazell said she enjoyed watching some Olympic sports on television once in a while.
“I just follow them for less than a half hour at night,” she said. “I catch what I can.”
Many students from La Verne said they were concerned about the role athletes played in these Olympic Games. But although they were interested, most of them simply caught the nightly highlights from every sport. Some students said watching the daily summary of results on the news was a good way to find out what was going on—without spending a long time in front of the television. Some students even used the Internet to find out who took home medals during the day.
“I usually check out the scores at night online,” senior liberal arts international student Rafael Escamilla said.
Escamilla also said he does not really enjoy sports, but watched the Olympics because there wasn’t anything better see on television.
“My favorite sport is ice skating, but I am not really interested in sports,” Escamilla said. “I prefer to watch [the Olympics] for a while instead of any other stupid reality show.”
La Verne senior Dana McJunkin enjoyed watching some games at night after her classes.
“I have been kind of busy so I have not had a chance to see a lot. When I get a chance, I would like to really watch,” McJunkin said. “I have been watching some ice skating. It’s definitely my favorite sport.”
Senior photography major Jenna Campbell said she had fun watching the Olympics at night, but some of her fellow students seemed to be watching only out of boredom.
“It looks like everybody in my dorms is watching the Olympics because they do not have anything else to do,” Campbell said.
On the other hand, freshman liberal studies major Jacqueline Cervantes said she is an avid fan of the Olympics.
“I like the Olympics so much, and I think it is really exciting because it only happens once every four years,” Cervantes said. “I like most winter sports. I really like [figure skater] Sasha Cohen. She ended up in first place after the first program.”
Cohen won the silver medal in the women’s figure skating competition, after she made mistakes in her long program.
Besides the actual competition, the most memorable Olympic moment for most ice skating fans in America will probably not be a pleasant one.
Figure skater Michelle Kwan, trying for the third time to win Olympic gold in the singles competition, had to leave the Games due to an injury.
Andrea Pineda, a student who also works at La Verne, likes a sport that is not as popular as ice skating.
“Cross country skiing is my favorite sport,” Pineda said. “I really like it.”
An important issue that arose during the Games last week related to cross country skiing, but had nothing to do with who won what medal. A doping scandal involving Austrian athletes made international headlines.
According to The New York Times, Italian police and Olympic drug testers raided five houses used by Austrian Nordic skiing who were suspected of cheating in the Games. The New York Times reported that Italian police had found syringes and unprescribed medicine in the houses.
Even though a big scandal took place with the doping case, students from ULV do not seem to be very involved with the issue. Some students did not even know that the scandal had occurred.
“I had no idea that something like that had happened, because I don’t follow the Olympics too much,” Escamilla said. “But I think it is something really bad for the competition.”
Student Amri Covarrubias had not heard about the scandal either.
“I had no idea about the doping case,” Covarrubias said.
Overall, most La Verne students saw the Olympics as entertaining, but did not seem to know many details about what went on.
“I have not heard much about the Olympics,” student Lluliana Andrade said. “But I think they are cool.”
Antonio Foncillas can be reached at email@example.com.