BYU students will be celebrating the Olympics in a variety of different ways this year, but everyone will have the spirit of the Olympics in common.
“Last time the Olympics happened, I threw an Olympics party where we had a thumb-wrestling bracket to celebrate the opening ceremonies,” said Katie Schmoldt, a 22-year-old from Camas, Wash. who just graduated in history teaching. “I’ve been considering doing a similar activity again, but maybe with somersaults this time.”
Ben Bird, a senior from Palmvale, Calif., majoring in linguistics, will be doubling up on celebrations for the opening ceremonies.
“Since my birthday happens to be on the same day as the opening ceremonies, my family and I are going to go out to eat and then watch the ceremonies that night on TV with my cousins and my brother,” said Bird.
Riley Rackliffe, a 24-year-old recent graduate in environmental science from Taylorsville, Utah, celebrates the Olympics in a way that is probably more familiar to most of us.
“We usually watch a lot of TV, watch the highlights every evening, read a lot of newspapers,” Rackliffe said. “I seem to read more newspapers during the Olympics than otherwise. It’s a good way to catch up on what’s been going on in the world for the last two years.”
Like many at BYU, Bird will be cheering for more than just the U.S.A.
“I like that since I’ve served a mission I can cheer for more than one country,” Bird said. “It’s kind of cool to have a connection to that country as well and be happy for their athletes too.”
You don’t need to have served a mission to appreciate all the cultures participating in the Olympics though.
“I like the way it brings people from all over the world with different backgrounds together to do something other than argue,” said Rackliffe. “It’s like a big party that the world is invited to.”
Although unity is a big factor, Schmoldt says she’s still focused on the U.S.A.
“I like seeing all the flags and seeing the countries come together,” she said. “But, I also like seeing America win.”