Letters to the Editor

    Silver Medals Should Not Be Shameful

    Dear Editor:

    I would like to respectfully disagree with some of the comments made by Paul Choi in his article about the Winter Olympics. First of all, let me just say that everyone has their own interests, and not all sports are for all people. That being said, Choi’s article sounds like a sore loser lamenting about his team’s shortcomings and then giving up on the competition entirely because the team isn’t winning.

    Choi gripes about how there are no track stars and gymnasts in the Winter Olympics, but then who are speed skaters and freestyle aerialists if not winter track stars and winter gymnasts? Then he compares hockey players to basketball players. But both are team sports, with similar concepts (get an object inside a target of some sort), and equally high levels of energy and action. It’s just a matter of personal taste. Not to mention that all of these sports are relevant in many countries, whether it’s hockey in Canada or alpine skiing in Austria.

    And what would happen if all of the athletes who underperformed in these supposedly irrelevant sports actually did bring home gold medals? My guess is that Choi would then be praising those athletes, their respective sports, and espousing how wonderful the Winter Olympics are. Just because the United States was not the medal leader at these Torino Olympics does not mean that the sports are irrelevant or that no one cares. It would be like the Chargers saying that American football is lame because they haven’t won a Super Bowl in years. But they don’t. Instead they try again the next time around and when they actually perform well, everyone rallies around them. The same can be applied to Choi’s examples of the half-pipe snowboarders. They won gold, so Choi is singing their praises and that of the sport.

    The truth is that Americans are so used to dominance in the Olympics (as in the summer games, hence Choi’s support for those), that anything less than first place is shameful. But last time I checked, the United States is second in the medal count here, and that’s not a bad place compared to the countless number of countries that have one or no medals at all.

    There is such pressure from the media, the fans and the sponsors to finish first, that there is no respect in finishing second, which is a feat in of itself. There are many countries that would kill for such standings, so let’s not forget how lucky we are that we have so many athletes to choose from to represent us and do so well for us.

    This is what happens when the fans and athletes become too cocky. Like snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, like the USA women’s and Canadian men’s hockey teams, athletes who go into the games expecting to win are bound to run into trouble, and when they do, we gripe about the loss and complain about the sport. Shame on us.

    — Arthur Pasternak

    Earl Warren College Freshman

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal