Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Update (Day 4)

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Olympic athletes are far from the glitz and glamour that surrounds professional athletes and professional leagues.

In pro sports, the athletes are multi-million dollar investments that have the best of everything to ensure they are performing at a top level.

For the athletes in the Olympics, the situations are far different as a select few are big enough names to get that professional treatment.

There are only a few athletes in the world that earn enough money to pay for the best training in the best facilities.

Everyone else is left trying to figure things out on their own and put together enough money to work their way to the top of the world.

They do all of this in relative anonymity as there are very few fans watching these sports throughout their seasons.

For four years these athletes compete and train with few people watching them or caring how they do.

Then comes the biggest test in their careers in the Olympics which is the biggest event that many of them will be a part of in their careers.

Some may only get one chance at an Olympic Games while the list of people with more than three is a short one.

Unlike the professional athletes, there is simply not a lot of gratification in these sports other than that want to be the best in the world at something that they love.

The love of the sport has to be there as many of the sports are essentially spent preparing for the next Olympics.

It is four years of hard work just to get to a moment that might last only a few minutes as they put in the time to get to this moment.

They have sacrificed so much to get to this point in their careers and so when it comes to the day to perform there is little that will keep them out of competing.

It seems to be a constant theme of every Olympics but in Pyeongchang, there are countless athletes dealing with some major issues.

This year has become a comeback year for so many athletes from the big to the small and everyone in between.

Superstars like Lindsey Vonn, Mark McMorris and Shaun White have all suffered some serious injuries that have lead to great stories in 2018.

Vonn may have the longest comeback after a serious injury in 2013 where she broke her leg and tore her ACL and MCL.

It kept one of the best female skiers out of the 2014 Olympics and since that time she has worked her way back.

Although she hasn’t been as dominant as she used to be these games are her comeback as she returns to the biggest stage looking to make an impact.wolympic-sidebarolympics-sidebar

Her American teammate, Shaun White had a slightly shorter recovery as he crashed into the top of the halfpipe while training for the Olympics.

The injury took 62 stitches but White continued into the Olympics where he will look to win another gold in the halfpipe.

McMorris may have had one of the worst recoveries after he hit a tree while snowboarding with friends in 2017.

After breaking 13 bones in his body, McMorris was hospitalized and was in serious trouble almost not surviving let alone snowboarding again.

He worked his way back from that near-fatal injury and earned a bronze medal this year in Slopestyle while he goes for a second medal in Big Air later in the Olympics.

This has happened time and time again with athletes getting seriously hurt years ago or even just days before their event, like Laurie Blouin who was taken to the hospital a few days before winning silver when she crashed on a practice run.

Athletes have come from terrible injuries and some have not even recovered but they are all a part of the Olympics.

That is the commitment that these athletes have to this showcase for their talents and their sports.

There is no tomorrow for many as tomorrow is essentially four years away and nobody knows if they will get back.

This is their time and after qualifying it would take a lot to keep athletes out of their one chance in four years to compete at the highest level.

Unlike the professional teams, there is no next season and no next game, this is the time to show up and compete even if they aren’t doing it completely healthy.

 

The Canadian Story:

Breaking Through

The Canadians have had a lot of success in sliding sports over the years with some of the top bobsled teams in the world and some very memorable skeleton wins. The one thing that they have been unable to find is a medal in luge as many have come close but no Canadian has ever medalled at the Olympics in the event. That was until Day 4 in Pyeongchang when Alex Gough earned Bronze for the first Canadian Olympic luge medal.

Adding to the Dominance

Curling has always been a sport dominated by the Canadians and adding another event in the sport gave Canada another shot at a gold. The Mixed Doubles team of John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes continued the long tradition of excellence in the curling rink when they took home the gold in the inaugural Mixed Doubles Olympic tournament.

On the Board

Canada has enjoyed plenty of success in short track speed skating over the last few Olympics but this year some favourites have been unable to get on the podium. The medals are hopefully on their way as the first short track medal of the games for Canada has finally been won. After a perennial favourite Marianne St. Gelais was disqualified earlier and Kim Boutin came fourth an official review eliminated the third-place finisher to give Boutin the bronze medal.

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