Leave your #SochiProblems at the door, just compete

No water. Dead bees in honey packets. Stray dogs. A missing Olympic ring. Comparisons to the Hunger Games.

The Twitter community has been overwhelmed with complaints about the facilities in Sochi and the games have only just begun.

Despite all of those problems and the threat of terrorists, though, I would love to attend the winter games and watch all the athletes compete.The thrill of competing against the best of the best from around the world, no matter what sport is played, has at one point or another been the dream of just about every athlete. I played basketball and softball growing up. Softball took over as my primary, OK only, sport of choice after the first time I got stuffed in a junior high basketball game. My height of 5’2” and mediocre skill just didn’t cut it, so I focused on softball. I was so excited when softball became an Olympic sport. Granted, I was never that good, but every athlete dreams. In high school, I’d watch the NCAA Women’s College World Series on TV all the time so I figured my sport in the Olympics would be just as amazing.

I was right. Some of the greats I admired competed in those games — Lisa Fernandez, Dot Richardson, Michele Smith, Stacey Nuveman and Jennie Finch.

I even competed against some of the ladies who played in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics — Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott, Caitlin Lowe — while I was in college.

The Northwestern Wildcats were a force to be reckoned with and we took second in the country in 2006 and third place in 2007. I even got to see myself on TV a couple times in reruns of those World Series games. NU is a school and an athletic program of which I am very proud to have been a part.

For any athlete, from peewee football to Olympic gold medalist and everyone in between, dedication and hard work are mandatory traits. We sleep on school busses between tournaments, write term papers in hectic airports, eat fast food meals on the go while trying to stay healthy and continuously nurse our bruised egos and sore muscles in whatever way we can. Some play their sports with broken bones or other ailments and most do so with little complaint.

While the Olympic facilities at Sochi may not be up to par, real athletes will be capable of leaving their #SochiProblems at the door and showing up to compete.

About

Kristen Czaban

Kristen Czaban joined The Sheridan Press staff in 2008 and covered beats including local government, cops and courts and the energy industry. In 2012, she was promoted and now serves as the managing editor for The Press. Czaban has a journalism degree from Northwestern University.

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