Providence College Investigates
Which is the Better Olympics?
Will Murphy ’23
The Summer and Winter Olympic Games allow the best athletes in the world to showcase their talents while representing their country. Although both are extremely fun to watch, the summer games beat out the winter games in terms of excitement.
The wide array of sports to choose from during the Summer Olympic Games, ranging from archery to water polo ensures that there will be something for everyone. The track and field events that take place during the Summer Olympics are can’t-miss T.V. The races combine mesmerizing star power with incredible pace. Battles between Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and the rest of the field have been consistently breathtaking for nearly the past two decades, often with Bolt coming out on top. The relays also add another layer to watch during the track and field events, often resulting in chaotic finishes.
The swim events are another aspect of what makes the Summer Olympic Games so fun to watch. The United States’ Michael Phelps’ run of dominance in swimming can be compared to Bolt’s in sprinting, as he is the all-time leader in medals in the Summer Olympic Games, at a whopping 28 medals.
Beach volleyball is another event that adds to the excitement of the games. The beach volleyball matches are fast-paced and never fail to amaze the crowd. Another fan favorite is table tennis, as it is incredible to watch the coordination displayed throughout the matches.
Some of the recently added events have also been rapidly growing in popularity. Skateboarding and surfing were both added as events to the games, and each continue to reach a broader audience. Each sport has polarizing athletes who continue to grow the fanbase for the Olympics.
The Summer Olympic Games also have widely popular sports such as basketball and soccer. Both have consistently provided competitive matchups, with three-versus-three basketball being a recent addition to the games on top of five-versus-five. The great variety of events that provide something for everyone combined with the star power of the Summer Olympic Games pushes them ahead of the Winter Olympic Games.
Overall, both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games are great opportunities for every country around the world to band together and appreciate the hard work that each athlete puts in to reach the levels of greatness required to participate in the Olympics.
Joseph Quirk ’23
When it comes to the Olympic games, it always seems to feel like the summer games get much more love and attention than their winter counterparts. In all fairness, the summer games are exciting and have been full of iconic moments, athletes, and events. Usain Bolt and the Jamaican 4×100 meter relay team beating the U.S. team after both squads beat the previous world record time in the same race, for example, are some exciting moments in Olympic history. Similarly, Michael Phelps is one of the most decorated Olympians of all time. And, the cultural significance of the USA Dream Team in the basketball tournament has had an impact to this day. Whatever it may be, winter sports are just as good, and perhaps even better.
The winter games can answer the summer games in terms of star power and iconic moments themselves. Look at Lindsey Vonn, one of the greatest female skiers of all time, or, Shaun White, who makes even the most difficult snowboarding tricks look easy. And, few moments in sports are more iconic than the 1980 Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament when the United States beat the USSR in the semi-finals and went on to win gold. Needless to say, the winter games are right up there with summer in terms of iconic moments, athletes, and overall enjoyability. However, not notoriety.
Maybe it is because the summer games have more recognizable and exciting sports. After all, it is much easier to get excited about a race when the racers are competing head-to-head and not against a clock like some winter events, but the winter games are vastly underrated in this area too.
For fans of technique and grace, perhaps gymnastics in the summer games is a favorite event. But, figure skating is just as beautiful and graceful and arguably more difficult than gymnastics. And if it resembles “dancing” too much for your taste, half pipe and freestyle skiing and snowboarding are just as technical and dramatic. For fans of speed, speed skating or ski jumping may be interesting. And, of course, the exhilarating downhill skiing events. Anyone who has ever skied or snowboarded knows the rush of flying down a mountain and it is no different here. The hockey tournament, which could be less popular in the United States, is nonetheless incredibly entertaining and intense as the talent is spread evenly worldwide.
The winter games have many great aspects and advantages over its summer counterpart, and it is time we gave these games the respect they deserve.
State of the Olympics: Tokyo 2021
International Competitions to be held in Summer 2021
by Leo Hainline ’22
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, there was an eerie point in time when the entire sporting world went on pause. While many sporting events were canceled altogether, some major events were postponed to the summer of 2021. This includes the quadrennial Olympic Games and the European Championships (Euros) for soccer.
Although no one knows when stadiums will be packed with fans again, both of these competitions are expected to take place regardless. Even without fans, watching both of these historic competitions will add some quality entertainment to next summer.
Indeed, the Tokyo Olympics will happen next year under any circumstances. According to the International Olympics Committee (IOC), the opening events are planned for July 23, while the closing day is set to be Aug. 8. The IOC is branding it as the “Games that Conquered COVID.” All eyes will be on Japan to see what measures will be implemented in order to host the Games successfully.
Officials have yet to determine whether spectators will be allowed to attend. They are also considering simplifying the opening and closing ceremonies in addition to reducing the number of staff and delegates from each nation. Over 200 countries intended on participating in the Tokyo Olympics prior to the pandemic, but Japan still has strict travel restrictions on most foreign nations.
The 11,000 foreigners entering the country will certainly require constant testing, but the fact that the Games are held in one city will be an advantage logistically. The Olympic Games have a tradition of being held regardless of ongoing global challenges, with the only cancellations in its history due to World War I and World War II.
As for the Euros, one of the biggest tournaments in the world of soccer, the competition is expected to take place from June 11 to July 11 in 12 different host cities. These cities include London, Baku, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, and Glasgow. Usually the tournament is hosted by one or two European nations, but this year it was originally intended to be hosted across the continent to honor the tournament’s 60th anniversary.
Soccer has seen all of its major leagues restart amid the pandemic without a bubble system akin to the ones used in the United States. The Euros are expected to proceed smoothly without one as well.
20 of the 24 teams participating have already been decided, with the remaining qualification games occurring on Nov. 22 for the final four teams. Italy is set to play Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for the tournament’s opening match on June 11. Like the Olympics, the status of fans at the stadiums has yet to be determined. While most soccer matches have been played without any fans in attendance, some countries have recently begun to allow in-person viewings.
Even with the United Kingdom being one of the hardest-hit countries during the pandemic, Wembley Stadium in London is set to host the finale of the tournament. The Premier League was planning on reintroducing fans in early October, but a recent uptick in the U.K.’s case counts has pushed back that initiative indefinitely.
While still many months away, it will be interesting to see how both of these major sporting events will be impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
Why the Summer Olympics are the Best
By Chris McCormack ’18
With the Winter Olympics right around the corner, there is always some debate on which Games are better: Summer or Winter? With that in mind it is necessary to understand the basic facts of the two. The Summer Olympics have been around for over a century, starting in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The Winter Olympics have not been around for as long, dating back to the 1924 Games in Chamonix, France. The summer games also host more countries, 206 countries participated in 2016 compared to the 91 that are participating in this year’s games. With just history and the number of participants in mind, it is hard to see why one would prefer the winter games.
As Americans, however, we tend to like the winter games because of sports like ice hockey and games like the one in 1980, in which the U.S. defeated the Soviet Union. However, athletes like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt have increased the popularity the Summer Olympics with their incredible athleticism.
Another reason the summer games are more entertaining than the winter games is because of Team USA Basketball. With the NHL no longer allowing their athletes to participate in the games, USA Basketball is really our country’s only chance to see the professional athletes of our country participate against their worldwide counterparts. It is always enjoyable to see the best basketball players combine forces in super team fashion and compete.
For reasons that include history, inclusivity, and the inclusion of big name professional athletes, the Summer Olympics are more enjoyable than the Winter Olympics. Regardless of how you feel, however, it is always nice to see the increased patriotism around the times of the games and for that reason, it is hard to dislike either one.