Summer vs. Winter Olympics: Which Brings the Hype?

James S., Staff Writer

Image Courtesy of Universal Images Group

On February 9, the 2018 Winter Olympics will begin with the usual Olympic torch being lit. Athletes will compete in various winter events through February 25. Some students will be likely to watch, but will it be as exciting as the summer games?

Nielsen, the TV ratings company, did a viewer survey on the Rio Summer Olympics held August 5 to 21, 2016. The average viewers for Rio was about 27.5 million at a time, beating the Sochi Winter games, which had 21.3 million, by about 6 million.

According to a Sports Illustrated article two months before the Sochi Winter Games, the most popular event was the snowboard halfpipe.

The much colder winter games, which occur two years after the summer games, can be interesting to some, but some others think they are not as entertaining as the Summer Olympics.

Colin Mackey, a middle school teacher and alumni of Westminster, worked at the Olympics for three years leading up until he was the mascot, Izzy, at the 1996 summer games.

He was the coordinator, so he got to decide when he wanted to be the mascot, and he ended up being Izzy at the Dream Team basketball games, which he recounts as one of his favorite events.

“I will be watching the Winter Olympics religiously,” he said. Mr. Mackey also noted the difference between the two; he said, “They are definitely not the same. The variety of sports differentiates them. Summer is more interesting because of its sports, and the winter games are easier to keep track of.”

Eighth grader Avi S. is going to tune into the event. He said, “I think that the Summer Olympics are better than the Winter Olympics because they have more events and more interesting sports.”

Saiyen R., a sixth grader, said he was also going to tune in, but not intently; he said, “I guess I’ll be watching the Winter Olympics, but I honestly think that the Summer Olympics are better because it is warmer, and I have more time to watch.”

Virginia M., an eighth grade girl, said she enjoys the Olympics and will be tuning in. She said, “I enjoy the winter games, but I think summer is better because it has more sports I am interested in.”

So, if students end up turning on the TV to watch the Olympics this year, don’t think about if it’s not the best Olympics, but instead remember that it only comes every four years.