Winter Olympics gets cold shoulder from Tallahassee students

In the United States, more than 215 million viewers tuned into the 2012 London Summer Olympics, while the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics totaled less than 200 million viewers, according to the Olympics marketing report.

One hundred students at Florida A&M, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College were asked if they have or planned to watch the Winter Olympics.

Sixty-two percent of students surveyed in Tallahassee said they would rather watch the Summer Olympics over the Winter Olympics, which ends Feb. 23.

Thirty-four students said they will watch the Winter Olympics before it concludes, while the rest said they would rather wait for the next summer’s Olympics in 2016.

Larry Garvin, a junior criminal justice student at FAMU from Jacksonville, said the Winter Olympics has fewer viewers because people are not excited about the winter events.

“The Summer Olympics have more events to look forward to,” Garvin said. “Everyone gets excited about the basketball and track and field events. You never know what will happen, so it keeps us watching.”

The Winter Olympics consists of games such as snowboarding, skiing, speed skating and figure skating, to name a few. Whether an athlete competes at the Winter or Summer Games, he is still required to train and qualify for the Olympics at the trials.

Regardless of the popularity of the sport, preparation and discipline goes into an athlete’s Olympic performance.

K. Anders Ericsson, Florida State University’s Conradi Eminent Scholar of Psychology, said an athlete’s performance is solely based on his dedication to training his body to compete.

“The discipline required to train on a consistent level so you’re actually changing your body is very impressive,” Ericsson said. “I think that sometimes athletes don’t get credit for this very extended process that I believe is the major factor for explaining where they’re at – the Olympics.”

Michelle Mack, a senior pre-med student at FSU from Fort Lauderdale, said winter sports can be harder than summer sports, and it has a lot to do with the weather.

“When you’re so cold, you can’t breathe,” Mack said. “How can you focus on a sport? I couldn’t imagine skiing down the side of a mountain.”

Caleb Cineas, a junior information technology and computing student at FSU from Orlando, said he appreciates the Winter and Summer Olympics because of the athletes’ dedication.

“I try to watch both Olympics because the athletes work hard to earn their spots, and it’s exciting to see who will win,” Cineas said. “Plus, I love sports, so it’s an opportunity for me to learn about sports I’m not familiar with.”