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April 18, 2024

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    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Nations unite under banner

Tragedy and sport are two things that bring the country and the world together.

In September the country came together and the nation mourned for the United States when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.

Then for 17 days the world united for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

It all started on Friday, Feb. 8 when an honored guard of the U.S. athletes along with New York police and firefighters carried the tattered American flag that flew at the World Trade Center the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack into Rice-Eccles Stadium.

From that moment, there was no question that a nation had come together as all 78 countries stood in utter silence and the only sound to be heard was the beating blades from the helicopter above.

The Corruption

Once the games began, the strength of the nation could be seen as the first few days ran smoothly.

Then on Monday (Feb. 11) the world bond began to fall apart as Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were robbed of a gold medal.

Anyone who watched the event, like I did, could tell that the Canadians should have won the gold. It was obvious that they were better than the Russians; were the judges blind? No, they were just corrupt. The sport was rigged. The Russians had dominated the event for 38 years and the judges were not about to look past this.

However, the International Olympic Committee saw things under a different light. They saw things the way it should be. Athletes should be judged on there performance and not on some tradition. The Russians shouldn’t just get the gold medal because it’s tradition. They have to earn it just like everybody else.

Finally, after nearly a week of controversy the IOC awarded Sale and Pelletier their gold medal Sunday (Feb. 17) still allowing the Russians to keep their gold.

After the skating controversy came the Russian controversy in which Russian Olympic chief Leonid Tyagachev threatened to pull out of the Games and boycott the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He complained about the judging in figure skating, drug testing in cross-country and refereeing in hockey.

The only reason the Russians complained about these issues were because they were the ones who got hurt in the end. Larissa Lazutina of Russia was stripped of her gold medal after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug and thrown out of the Games. Olga Danilova, a Russian cross-country skier, was also thrown out of the Games after testing positive for the same drug.

In the end the Russians finally overcame their differences and stuck it out through the rest of the Games. Way to go Russia, you finally grew some marbles!

History in the Making

Amidst the controversy the United States was marking several pages in the history book.

The Americans won 34 medals, 14 more than the IOC predicted. What does this have to say about our country?

I think this says that we have better athletes than other countries thought we did. It shows that we will never settle for less and that we will always put forth our best effort.

Halfpipe snowboarders Ross Powers, Danny Kass and J.J. Thomas proved this as they swept the sport to give the USA its first Winter Games sweep since men’s figure skating in 1956.

Seeing three Americans standing on the podium as tears rolled down their faces while the National Anthem was being played and the American flags raised was a sight for sore eyes.

Then came the inaugural women’s bobsled, which was won by Americans Jill Bakken and Vonetta Flowers. Flowers became the first black athlete to win the gold in the Winter Olympics. The medal was also the USA’s first in 46 years in the sport. The men also triumphed in bobsledding, winning both silver and bronze.

American Jim Shea was the Games’ first third-generation skeleton athlete. He was the second family member to win gold.

The Canadians also set some record of their own as the men’s hockey team ended its 50-year wait to win the Olympic gold in its national sport, beating the USA 5-2. The women won their first gold medal in hockey as they defeated the USA women 3-2.

Final Thoughts

Overall the Olympics were a time when families came together, sat down in front of the television to watch the Games and cheer on their country.

The Russians finally realized that it was pointless to pull out and boycott the 2006 Games and the Canadians got the respect they deserved (in hockey and figure skating), while the Americans set all kinds of records.

In the end, the closing ceremonies pretty much summed up the Games with all the countries together singing, cheering and celebrating. It was a time for laughter and tears as the torch was extinguished and the Olympic flag handed over to the Italians.

Now, the Russians will have two years for their scars to heal and the rest of the world will have to wait until 2006 to come together again in Athens.

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