Tag Archives: Olympics

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!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Language, Uncategorized

Talking Rio: Olympic Sports Terminology

The 2016 Summer Olympics are in full swing in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and Canada is busy cheering its athletes to the podium. The temptation to ignore everything else and watch the action 24/7 is overwOlympic rings logohelming; luckily, many Canadians take a vacation in August!

Join me for an Olympic tour of some sports terms that may help clear that look of confusion from your eyes:

  • Dig – No, it’s not an insult aimed at your buddy; it’s a volleyball term that refers to the ability to prevent a ball hit by the opposing team to touch the ground in your own court.
  • False start – In a track or a swimming contest, this term refers to a competitor who begins moving before the starting bell, generally leading to automatic disqualification from the race.
  • Heat – Yes, it’s hot in Rio, but we’re not referring to temperature here. A heat is a preliminary round of competition held to whittle the field to the strong competitors. Generally, only a couple of entrants in each heat advance to the next round.
  • Ledecky Slam – Winning the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-metre freestyle swimming races at one meet. It is named after Katie Ledecky, the 19-year old American swimming phenom, who has accomplished it .
  • Omnium – A multiple race event in track cycling (e.g., time trial, individual pursuit). Cyclists participate in all the events and earn points for their finishes in each. The overall points leader at the completion of the events is the winner.
  • Pike position – A diving position where the body is bent at the waist, but the legs are straight.
  • Repechage — Second chance. A term used in rowing and cycling. Participants who don’t automatically qualify for the next round of competition by placing well in their heats have another shot at qualification.
  • Penny – We all know soccer greats Pele and Ronaldo, but now Canada has its own single-moniker athlete: young Penny Oleksiak, the 16-year-old swimmer who earned four medals in Rio and is now the country’s most-decorated athlete at one Summer Games.

The 2016 Olympics continue through Aug. 21. Don’t miss the fun – or the chance to impress your friends with your knowledge of sports nomenclature!

Leave a comment

Filed under Language, Uncategorized