Whether you love to watch athletes soar through the air in ski jumping, race down a luge track, or fly across the ice in figure skating, the Olympics are a magical time. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a sports fan, something about the Olympics might compel you to sit in front of the TV on a Saturday afternoon and root for the underdog in short track speed skating. We hope you’re ready: the XXIII Winter Olympics begin this week in Pyeongchang!
Why do we love to watch Olympics? Not only does it feel good to root for American athletes, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn more about athletes from other countries and their cultures. You might find something inspiring in the path that the each athlete has traveled to get to the Olympic Games and be able to apply it to your own life, and maybe you’ll start to think about your own dreams and how you can accomplish them (even if your dream doesn’t involve learning how to snowboard). Maybe you just tune in for the drama, the artistry, or that split-second decision that can make someone’s dreams come true.
Competitions begin Thursday, February 8th and the opening ceremonies will take place on Friday, February 9th. All the action may not leave you much time to read, so make sure to check out these books and movies after the closing ceremonies on February 25th!
The Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games by Martha McIntosh
Here, you’ll see highlights from the Olympic Museum and the International Olympic Committee’s collection of winter games memorabilia, including the most recent Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Relive the U.S. Hockey team’s stunning win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid and explore the social and political forces that made the game so important.
The Games: A Global History of the Olympics by David Goldblatt
Learn about everything from the torch relay to medals, beginning with the first Olympic games in Athens through the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. You’ll also learn about the creation of the Paralympics, women’s fight to be included in the Olympic Games on equal terms, and historic moments such as the assassination of Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972.