Recognizing Winter Season Sports

Gold+medalist+figure+skater+Alina+Zagitova+%28Russia%29+at+the+2018+Winter+Olympics+in+Pyeongchang.+%28Image+from+Robert+Schmidt%2C+Washington+Post%29+

Robert Schmidt

Gold medalist figure skater Alina Zagitova (Russia) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. (Image from Robert Schmidt, Washington Post)

Claudia New, Writer

Gold medalist figure skater Alina Zagitova (Russia) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. (Image from Robert Schmidt, Washington Post) (Robert Schmidt)

 

As the fall season brings cool winds and less humidity, many tend to flock to sports like football, overlooking the snow-based sports that are significantly more dangerous. Coming down a slope of fresh snow at rapid speeds capable of breaking limbs seems just as interesting as the punting of a ball across a field, so why aren’t winter sports as respected as sports like football or soccer? 

Most of it boils down to location. Here in Houston, we play sports in months that are cooler, but don’t have frozen precipitation. Football starts in the fall season when it isn’t constantly humid, and it rarely snows in Houston. However, there are quite a few families who live in Texas who are from mountainous regions like Colorado, where activities like snowboarding and skiing are more common.

Another reason for the negligence of the winter season sports is little exposure to big competitions in the American Hockey League such as the Stanley Cup playoffs. Houston has its own hockey team, the Houston Aeros, yet no one except avid hockey fans seem to know about them. In order to heighten the chances of support, important dates like playoffs should be announced alongside other mainstream sports during their respective seasons.

There are also sports that seem very trivial, like curling, a sport that also requires hard ice to play on. Curling has its own division in the Winter Olympics, but even a huge event like that is hardly celebrated down here. Recognition of other activities like figure skating and bobsledding could also help increase popularity of these lesser known activities.

Though mainstream sports are important and the athletes involved in them are talented, perhaps it’s time for Texans and other Southern states to give some support to winter sport teams as well.

Curling stone sliding into the center of a target. (Image from Adobe Stock Images)