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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

US Winter Olympic athletes; really great or the others just suck?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) February 20th, 2010

Is the talent of the US Olympic athletes this Olympics really that great of is the usual Winter Olympics skiing powerhouses the Swiss, Dutch, Austrians, and Norwegians really suck this time around? In events like down hill, luge, Super G etc where you’d think they would do great they look like college students who snuck in. They are not that quick if they can even stay on their skis. Snowboard and snowboard cross sports I believe were conceived here in the states US athletes pretty much still own the keys to the mansion. What happened to the Dutch, Swedes, etc?

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14 Answers

Lve's avatar

The Dutch don’t compete in the skiing events…We don’t even have mountains over here. Don’t know where you got the idea that Dutch athletes used to be great at other winter sports besides speedskating….

jazzjeppe's avatar

Hmmm, who was that, Anja Pärson…the Swedish skiier who crashed so badly one day and the next day she got up and won bronze…yeah…compared to her most others just suck :)

Dr_C's avatar

let’s see, The men’s downhill was won by a Swiss skier, Denmark got the silver. Ladies supercombined was won by a German. Men’s Super G was won by norway. Men’s moguls was won by a Canadian. Both men and women’s singles luge were won by Germans. Nordic combined was just won by France. Ladies short track was won by China. Women’s skeleton was won by Great Brittain. Ski Jumping NH individuals was won by Swizerland. There’s a lot more were these came from… even the ladies half-pipe was won by a Brit.

Maybe do a little research before saying the rest of the world sucks hm? Also… the Dutch don’t compete in downhill events. There are no hills in their country. They are however speed skating freaks and love it to death.

judochop's avatar

^ damn son. Damn.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dr_C “*Maybe do a little research before saying the rest of the world sucks hm?*” I did not say the world sucked. There are nations you know in spite of being in Europe they either do not have the money to pour into their programs or they are not as large a country as to have as deep of a well of athletes to tap. The nations considered great skiing nations seem not to be doing as well as past Olympics. With the US getting 6 medals in 3 events, there was a time when it was major news if a US skier got a bronze metal and a gold medal was almost a Herculean task. It would be equivalent to US snowboarder getting topped by Brazilians, Saudis, or Tongans or some other nation that has little or no snow. I wonder has the US got phenomenal or has the others lost the edge that much?

LostInParadise's avatar

Maybe it is just that the U.S. has gotten better. In terms of population you would have to compare the U.S. medals to those of all of Europe.

Cruiser's avatar

The world economy has taken it’s toll. Russia no longer is flush in cash and has had a huge impact in buying gold medals with their gov supported Olympic medal-mill program of cold war days.

Plus as you point out proximity to winter sports do favor certain countries hence Canada’s dominance in Curling.

marinelife's avatar

I think that the US is having a particularly good showing, because they are on their home continent with many local people cheering them on.

Dr_C's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central to quote your original post “Is the talent of the US Olympic athletes this Olympics really that great of is the usual Winter Olympics skiing powerhouses the Swiss, Dutch, Austrians, and Norwegians really suck this time around?”

You made mention of these “European Powers” sucking, either in question form or not the implication is there. You also made specific mention of the Dutch having a bad showing in the downhill. That’s where the “Do a little research” part comes in. It’s a nation without hills that devotes itself mostly to speed skating as far as Olympic events go.

It’s not that other teams suck, it’s that the limited coverage (As per @Cruiser‘s economy argument) has been such that the accomplishments of the US team have been extolled while other teams receive little mention unless they come in just ahead of the US. Especially in American markets.

The other teams are doing just fine, the Olympic games have not yet reached their half-way point. I think we’d be better served discussing the historic fact that Canada as a host nation has won gold on home soil for the first time.

ucme's avatar

They’re all just better at not falling over as far as I can see.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve got to call you on this as well. Don’t badmouth the other athletes. The US has done well, but we also have huge resources invested in the athletes. Have you ever been in an U.S. Olympic Training Center? It’s amazing. And as someone else pointed out, its only halfway. I’m typical American, very proud of my country (when we’re right, not when we’re wrong) but I also respect every athlete that makes it to the games.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know, I was pretty damn impressed with all the athletes.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dr_C “That’s where the “Do a little research” part comes in. It’s a nation without hills that devotes itself mostly to speed skating as far as Olympic events go.” OK, I can take that, with the Dutch I was mistaken. Not like there is a lot of coverage on skiing events or other winter events unless there is a US athlete who has a chance to medal other wise it seem coverage on it is almost non-existent. The only reason ski jump even gets covered is because it is a marquee event and has been around so long, not because it is loaded with Americans or any really comes close to medaling. Who has been able to catch curling? I know I haven’t.

“You made mention of these “European Powers” sucking, either in question form or not the implication is there.” I meant was in events where they usually dominate they seem to be chasing American this time around, not they do not deserve to win or they are not good enough to win but as we have seen with men’s ice skating you can be hot on the circuit and short circuit at the Olympics and totally melt down. Maybe the Swedes and Finns etc don’t spread their athletes over so many competitions as the US or maybe even Canada and that is the reason why they seem so medal shy, I don’t know. But it seem the US athletes are making records and not just being 1st at something but daily medal count.

@LostInParadise I thought about the population factor, that by sheer size the US has more athletes in the pool to draw from so even the 3rd or 4th string would be quite talented. However, Russia and China, even Japan has quite an extensive population so one would think they have as much of an opportunity to dig deep in the talent pool as the US. But the medal count is fact, notwithstanding, show how successful the athletes in a given nation is doing. But if I had to go off numbers I would have to say the Germans have done better pound for pound (seeing their nation and population is less).

@Cruiser I am sure money woes have hit just about every nation’s athletic program. Maybe here in the US corporate sponsors etc have stepped in to fill the gab, but nations like China who seem to be suffering less and have a nationalized program they should have or be able to great equally capable athletes in the events they are in as the US. Aside from select competitions I have not seen them with bust our performances from their athletes.

@Adirondackwannabe “I’ve got to call you on this as well. Don’t badmouth the other athletes. The US has done well, but we also have huge resources invested in the athletes.” Yes, I am glad you mentioned that. I am not badmouthing the other contestants I know many I have had discussions with would, they feel the US should route everyone I guess maybe based off past Olympics I expect more from them than their efforts seem to show this time around. Simon Amman gets 4 medals in Ski jump and it is a huge deal, if the likes of Shani Davis, Anton Ono etc ended up finishing the Games with a single bronze it was an off game or a disastrous one, if they garnered only 2 medals no matter if one is gold they had a sub par Olympics. And I believe there are nations that invest as much in their athletes as the US. They may not have the likes of the US Olympic compound but they have nationalized sports academies or schools where that is basically the kid’s life, so you think by time they got to the Olympics they would be like unbeatable machines.

Fred931's avatar

Turn your tube on to NBC right now (8:26 CST) and pay closer attention to how fast and how hard this Super G stuff is.

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