As sad as it is to say, the Winter Olympics have never been embraced
by mainstream sports viewers in the UK.
There may be a myriad of reasons behind this, but the fact remains that viewing figures for this year’s spectacular event in Sochi, Russia are likely to remain typically low and far behind those recorded during the 2012 summer Games in London.
In truth, it appears as though the majority of British sports fans would rather bask in the familiarity of the English Premier League and the sight of our nation’s cricketers being humiliated by their Australian counterparts rather than explore a fascinating and largely undiscovered world.
This level of apathy is unwarranted, however, and it does a great disservice to the hard-working athletes who are preparing to compete on behalf of Great Britain this winter.
In fact, the suggestions are that Great Britain’s current Olympic squad is one of the strongest ever built, with competitors such as Lizzy Yarnold and Sheely Rudman among these being tipped for medal success within their respective disciplines.
Even taking the idea of British success out of the equation, however, there are still multiple reasons why you should buck the trend and watch the Winter Olympics this February. For example:
The Romance of competition and success against the odds
Like any sporting event, the history of the Winter Olympics is well populated with tales of defiance, romance and success that has been achieved against insurmountable odds. It is as much about the individual athletes and their back-story as the disciplines themselves, as the experience of 17 year-old skier Staci Mannella can testify.
The partially-sighted student stunned the world by establishing herself as a firm favourite for success in the forthcoming Games. After winning gold in her first World Cup race in New Zealand during the summer, she is heading to Sochi confident of success and with the backing of every neutral viewer across the world.
Russia will take centre stage as a major sporting venue
Despite its standing as one of Europe’ biggest economies, Russia has yet to establish itself as a modern capital for sporting excellence. This is partially due to widely reported political issues, which have prevented the nation from achieving relative balance or stability until recent times. 2014 is therefore the first time that it will hold the contemporary Winter Olympics and the subsequent Paralympics Games, as it looks to take centre stage and cultivate a culture of sporting excellence. Given the impact that hosting the summer Olympics has had on the youngsters of Great Britain, Russia may well be hoping to enter a new golden era of sporting achievement and accomplishment.
Colour, excitement and the Norwegian curling team
Even if you are not a fan of the individual disciplines that define the Winter Olympics, this event is always a tremendous source of colour, excitement and visually stunning landscapes.
It is also the master of the unexpected, as showcased by the Norwegian curling team who finally unveiled their much anticipated uniform at a recent news conference.
In attempting to outshine the highly controversial rainbow outfits that are to be worn by stewards, the team have designed a set of eye-catching chevron suits that reflects the colours of the nation’s flag.
With a visually pleasing meld of white, blue and white and a sharp, zigzag design, the uniform goes along way towards embodying the fun factor and unique appeal of an ancient sporting institution.
While life is all about seeking out adventure and new opportunities, the history of the Winter Olympics is shaped by stories of hope, courage and good-natured fun. With this in mind, why not open your mind this winter and share in a unique sport event that remains far different from any other that you are likely to see in your lifetime?
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