Vocabulary and the Olympics

Last month, I made a vow to counter the vitriol and ignorance that spew forth from the American president’s mouth and Twitter account by incorporating better vocabulary into my daily life. As the Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea, end and the athletes trickle back to Canada and elsewhere, what better way to highlight their achievements than with words other than “great”?

Enjoy my abbreviated Olympic dictionary, a verbal tribute to the 2018 Winter Games, courtesy of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary:

Zenith, n., the highest or culminating point in prosperity, power, etc. Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir reached the zenith of their Olympic careers in Pyeongchang, winning gold medals in both ice dancing and team skating.

Turbulent, adj., varying irregularly, causing disturbance. The turbulent winds played havoc with some of the ski and snowboard events, upsetting some of the athletes and making it impossible to predict winners.

Effervescent, adj., lively, energetic and vivacious. Who could fail to enjoy the effervescent performance of the only North Koreans to genuinely qualify for the Olympics, pairs skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik? They won the hearts of the crowd on hand, as well as viewers worldwide.

Tenacious, adj., persistent, stubborn.

Resilient, adj., readily recovering from shock, depression

The Canadian men’s hockey team was tenacious and resilient after its shocking loss to Germany, rebounding to proudly win a bronze medal.

Trailblazer, n., pioneer, innovator. Women’s luger Alex Gough won Canada’s first-ever Olympic medal in her sport, a bronze, after finishing fourth twice at Sochi in 2014.

Indomitable, adj., can’t be subdued, unyielding, stubbornly persistent. Snowboarder Mark McMorris of Canada demonstrated his indomitable spirit by competing at the Olympics less than a year after a near-fatal boarding accident, earning a bronze medal and worldwide admiration.

Affable, adj., friendly, good-natured. The South Korean people were affable, welcoming hosts to athletes and spectators alike.

Actually, as an Olympics junkie, I could go on and on and on … but in the interest of brevity, I won’t. Suffice it to say that there are many other words to describe the recent Olympics, such as joyous, inclusive and heartwarming. What a treat!

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2 Comments

Filed under Language, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Vocabulary and the Olympics

  1. kate marshall

    Love these words and this column…as a fellow Olympic junkie..it’s kinda quiet this week!

  2. Agreed, Kate! I miss all the action: the triumphs and failures both!

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