Timothy Wu Crean Lutheran 10th Grade
As everyone expected, the 2018 Winter Olympics, an international multi-sport event which happens every four years is currently taking place in the country of Pyeongchang, South Korea. The duration of the event will continue from 9 to 25 February 2018. The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports disciplines, and participants from 92 National Olympic Committees are slated to compete. Despite the fact that this is the greatest Olympics game ever in terms of size and scale, it’s not without criticisms and controversies.
The major issue with the opening ceremony of this year of winter Olympics game is the qualification of North Korean competitors. The joining of them might aggravate the political relationship between South Korea and North America, and the safety of the game participants might also be imperiled as well. However, today’s topic is nothing about the surprising affiliation of the North Korea team. Instead, we are shifting our focus to a curling game that happened on 7th February between China and Switzerland. There was a serious controversy between whether the victory belongs to China or Switzerland.
It was during the first session of round robin matches in the mixed doubles event. According to the Msn sports news, in their first match, “Switzerland held a 5-4 lead, after the final stone, it wasn’t clear if China had added one point to tie the match or two points for the win. China clearly had picked up one point from the stone in the middle. The question was whether or not the second stone was closer to the center than Switzerland’s closest stone”(Gaines 1).
It is obvious that if China’s was closer, they would get two points and win the game, however, if Switzerland’s was closer, China would get just one point and run into a tie.
It’s believed that “The normal procedure here is to move the stone in the middle out of the way and then measure the distance of the two other stones in question, if necessary. Yet the middle stone was now out of the way, but it was unclear if the yellow stone could still be measured”(Gaines 2).
Therefore the players asked if the movement could be reviewed on television, but it turned out that it was still unclear if that ever happened, the stone did not appear to move when NBC showed the replay. In the end, the teams did not measure the stones, so China appeared to concede the extra point, admitting that the yellow stone could not be measured, and ultimately costing them a chance to win. They begin to contest again after the tie of 5-5. In the extra rounds, Switzerland took China down and scored two points for the win, the final result was 7-5.
This whole controversy may just seem like a fairly technical dispute to us audiences, but in reality, as for the mixed doubles curling teams of China and Switzerland, it was the difference between victory and defeat in their Winter Olympics opener. This tiny mistake just caused a loss of a game, and we can only attribute it to the merciless nature of the Winter Olympics, it is supposed to be cruel and cutthroat, where a slight nudge and a potential lost millimetre can deliver a harsh blow to an athlete’s dreams for a matter of fact.
As to my personal opinion on this event, I would remain neutral and support neither of the two teams. The winner in this match is subjective in every respect, everyone must have a fixed winner anyways. In fact, I would let you readers to decide whether the judging is fair or poor, and the victory of this match belongs to whom. It is Olymptics after all, the most important thing is to have some supreme fun while supporting your favorite teams! So just enjoy the show and forget about all the distracting controversies!
<Timothy Wu Crean Lutheran 10th Grade