T-Birds 5-on-5: Olympic Aficionados

The first T-Birds 5-on-5 of this semester is kicking off with five athletes who are as excited about the Olympics as we are! Read on to hype up for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Katie Clark (KC): Women’s rowing, first year.

Natalie Hope (NH): Women’s field hockey, first year.

Margaret Pham (MP): Women’s field hockey, second year.

Katherine Lucas (KL): Track and field, first year.

Arielle Sadaka (AS): Track and field, second year.

What sports have you binge-watched for the winter Olympics?

KC: During the Winter Olympics, I have watched countless hours of ski racing, freestyle skiing and bobsled. During the Summer Olympics, I love to watch track and field.

NH: During the Winter Olympics, I always binge-watch the Canadian ice hockey games. But, I have also binge-watched sports such as alpine skiing, speed skating and sometimes curling or figure skating.

MP: I usually binge-watch the Canadian ice hockey games because they are typically really exciting. However, I am a big fan of [ice dancers] Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, so I enjoy cheering them on during the figure skating events.

KL: I love the Olympics, so I usually end up watching everything! But, if I had to pick a favourite, I would say figure skating or freestyle skiing. I love watching all the tricks.

AS: I'll watch any sport where Canada is represented. I especially like watching freestyle skiing, hockey and speed skating.

What winter sport do you wish you were at an Olympic level for?

KC: I wish I was at the Olympic level for ski racing. I dream of one day representing Canada for rowing.

NH: I wish I was an Olympic level ice hockey player. I would choose this sport because I enjoy being a part of a team and being surrounded by other incredibly talented athletes who push me to work harder.

MP: I wish I could play Olympic level ice hockey. Before playing field hockey, I played ice hockey for many years as a kid and I really enjoyed it. It’s a sport that carries so much Canadian pride and watching it, especially during the Olympics, makes me want me to play again.

KL: Definitely figure skating. I would love to be able to do all those spins and jumps in the air.

AS: I'd love to be good at ski jumping!

Which live events have you stayed up late/woken up early to watch, if any?

KC: In 2014, I got up at 3:30 a.m. to watch my cousin, Justin Dorey, compete in the halfpipe.

NH: I have always stayed up late to watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games, as I feel it gets me excited for all of the competition to come. Other than the ceremonies, I have stayed up to watch gold medal [events] in some of the sports that I binge-watch.

MP: I’ve definitely stayed up to watch the ice hockey finals because they tend to be tight match ups between Canada and the USA. I also really enjoy watching snowboard cross because it is very competitive and fast-paced, as well as any freestyle skiing events.

KL: Really whatever event is on! During the Olympics I try to watch as much as I can and get in the spirit.

AS: Although this isn't directly answering the question, one of the most memorable experiences I had while watching the Winter Olympics live was during the women's gold medal hockey game in Sochi. I was in high school and every teacher was trying to live-stream it which made the internet really slow. Most teachers cancelled class so we could all go down to the auditorium to watch the Canadian women win gold against the USA.

Margaret Pham moves the play upfield.
Margaret Pham moves the play upfield. Courtesy Martin Bazyl/UBC Athletics

What country has impressed you the most with team gear in the last few Olympics?

KC: The Norwegian curling team always impresses me with their crazy pants.

NH: The team that has impressed me with team gear will always be Canada, as I have always loved our team wear. However, I have also been impressed with Great Britain and Australia’s clothing.

MP: I might be a bit biased but I have always loved the Canadian team gear. The colours aren’t too flashy and the athletes always look professional. Gotta support the home country!

KL: Canada of course! It has been my dream to make a national team so I am always eyeing the gear.

AS: Canada (in my extremely unbiased opinion).

Which sport do you think should be recognized by the Olympics this year?

KC: I'd like to see ice climbing recognized as an Olympic sport.

NH: The sport I would like to be recognized by the Olympics would be ringette. Not only is ringette a fast-paced game that is intriguing to watch, but it is also a very team based sport. Unfortunately, not very many countries participate in this sport, but if it was recognized by the Olympics, the participation rates in ringette would hopefully increase.

MP: One sport I think should be recognized more by the Olympics this year is cross-country skiing. Not many people are aware of the high level of difficulty and high level of aerobic fitness involved in this sport. So, as a previous Nordic skier, I admire all the cross-country skiers who are able to compete at an Olympic level.

KL: Synchronized skiing, I think that would be super entertaining.

AS: In the '88 and '92 Winter Olympics, they had ski ballet as a demonstration sport. Although it was never [implemented], I think it's time for ski ballet to make a comeback.

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