The Associated Press
5 Reasons to Watch the Olympics (Hint: At Least It's Not the New York Yankees)
They’re back, and in all their Spandex glory.
The Peyonchang Winter Olympics begin with the opening ceremonies Friday and run through Feb. 25.
The winter games date back to 1924 when they were held in Chamonix, France. It is the second time South Korea has hosted the Olympic Games, and it is their first for the winter Olympics. With that Pennsylvania groundhog throwing us a long stretch of winter weather and many being still hung over from the New England Patriots loss in the Super Bowl, the games can provide a bit of a distraction until the crocuses and daffodils start poking their heads up from the frozen ground.
Still not convinced? We'll give you five good reasons to pay attention:
1. New Hampshire athletes
There are four of them.
Patrick Caldwell, of Lyme, is a cross-country ski athlete. This is his third year on the U.S. Ski Team, and he has multiple awards to his name. He is also the cousin of 2014 Olympian Sophie Caldwell from Peru, Vermont.
Sean Doherty, of Center Conway, competes in the biathalon. Doherty’s sport combines cross-county skiing and precision shooting.
Broc Little, of Rindge, plays ice hockey. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, he attended prep school at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts and attended Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Eric Loughran, of Pelham is a freestyle skier. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he lives in Park City, Utah, now but attended school in Nashua and Pelham. His training began at a young age at Loon Mountain.
NH1.com will have more on these athletes in the days and weeks to come.
2. Really unique sports
The Winter Olympics go beyond ball and court competition. Try guns and brooms for fun.
Curling: A sport that is beyond a simple description. Two teams take turns sliding granite stones down an icy lane vying for a position in the target area, called the “house.” The stones have handles to launch them on their way, and two teammates use special brooms to subtly adjust the condition of the ice by sometimes furiously sweeping ahead of the approximately 40 pound stone as it nears its target. The game is genial, with lots of good spirit and, as of yet, no performance-enhancing drug controversies. If it sounds worth investigating, Nashua Country Club has its own curling rink.
Biathalon: Biathalon combines rigorous cross-country skiing with precision rifle target shooting. The sport can be traced back to 1767 when Norwegians competed against Swedes. It became popular in the 20s but lost favor in the post-World War II years. It became an Olympic sport in 1955.
3. It runs two weeks
With televised competition running almost non-stop, there is plenty to watch or record to catch up on later. So if you need to snow blow the driveway or you can’t catch Team USA’s hockey matchup against Slovenia on Valentine’s Day (you made dinner reservations, right?), you can still get your fix.
4. Everybody around you is rooting for the same team
There is a chance you could have a rabid Djibouti fan, and parts of New Hampshire may have excited families rooting for Bhutan or Mexico, but Team USA is most likely the Granite State favorite. There won’t be that awkward moment at Hannaford when you run into your neighbor who is wearing an Eagles jersey.
5. It's not the New York Yankees
The first spring training game for the Red Sox is Feb. 22. They play the Yankees on March 3.