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What daily winter activities do you do everyday that should be an Olympic sport?

By Mihret Amdu Yirgeta, February 25 2022—

Beginning a new semester after the holidays is challenging. It is even more challenging in the middle of the Calgary winter. Everyday activities that we take for granted all of a sudden become extreme sports. Since the Winter Olympics are taking place this February, in keeping with this theme, here are some everyday winter activities that I believe should be considered Olympic sports. 

Walking off the train station:

For those of us who use public transit to get to and from the university, the winter season is a nightmare. Getting out of a train into the bitter cold, then back into the heat of the train station is enough to give anyone whiplash.

I think what  makes this an Olympic sport is leaving the station to get to the campus. This can be best described as  biathlon, a two-part event. First, getting out of the station and onto the bridge, you fight the icy winds that threaten to push you off. This requires a lot of balance and endurance, stepping purposefully and with determination to get to the stairs.

Next, you have to get down the stairs. They’re usually treacherous and are always covered in wet sludgy snow that threatens to make the place a slip-and-slide. This requires a lot of mental coordination as you have to tread carefully while fighting the wind.

The train station biathlon event should be judged on how quickly one makes it down the stairs without running, or if one can run down the steps without breaking their neck. I believe the second one is more entertaining.

Drinking hot drinks outdoors:

In the bitter cold of the Calgary winter, having a warm drink is a craving I definitely understand. So, tell me why when I want to have a hot drink outside, the universe takes it as a personal offence? 

Drinking a hot drink outside in winter is an extreme sport for several reasons. One, the drink is hot enough to burn when contrasted with the winter cold, so you constantly have to switch hands. Two, you cannot drink it immediately or you risk scalding the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat.

Of course, this isn’t a problem for those weirdos who don’t mind burning the surface of their mouths in their haste to consume things. And three, waiting even a few minutes means risking your nice hot chocolate becoming an iced chocolate drink. 

I believe this should be an Olympic sport in the way shooting is, it requires a lot of mental preparation, practice and patience. This event should be judged by how warm the athlete’s drink is by the time they’re down to their last sip. 

Exclusively using the tunnels to get around campus:

Now if you’re anything like me, you like to avoid the cold and snow at all costs. This is where the tunnel system throughout campus comes in handy. You can get to virtually all of your classes using the tunnels and building connections. However, they make the distance between places incredibly long and that could be a problem when you have classes with ten minutes in between. 

It is five times faster to get to the engineering building from Mac Hall from the outside than it is using the tunnels. The people who qualify for this sport must have excellent time management skills and should not be afraid to sprint through crowds. 

Obviously, this event should be judged on if the athlete makes it to their class on time with additional points if they don’t look like they ran a marathon once they arrive. To any student who actually does this, good luck and Godspeed friend. 

Using your phone while waiting for transit:

Taking public transport in winter has an interesting dilemma. As you stand there waiting for the bus or train you are torn between staring off into space incredibly bored or using your phone and risking frostbite. Let’s face it  —no “touch screen gloves” ever actually work when we need them to. 

Using your phone outside in winter requires dexterity, speed and agility as well as mental preparation to know when to switch hands and do so as efficiently as possible. It also requires the skill of using our non-dominant hands when we do have to switch hands. 

This event should be judged based on how much feeling is left in the athlete’s hands by the time the train or bus arrives. Of course, some people come  prepared, who are already wearing their earphones and listening to music or a podcast or an audiobook by the time they reach the station. To these people I say, what is it like having your life together? 

Walking on any surface with black ice:

Black ice is probably the biggest cause of accidents during winter. I’m sure more people get killed from slipping on back ice than any other cause. Don’t look that up, you know I’m right. It hides in patches underneath the snow and sneaks up on you out of nowhere. 

The last time I slipped on black ice my whole life flashed before my eyes. I know some people can spot patches of black ice and avoid them. I believe these people are secretly snipers and sharpshooters, there is no other explanation for how advanced their eyesight must be. Walking on black ice should have a very straightforward judging system as an Olympic event. Anyone who survives is guaranteed a gold medal, that is all.

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, and let’s face it, doing anything in winter is an extreme sport. However, these are the things I have found to be in want of recognition. If you have any more activities you believe should be Olympic sports, let us compile them in a letter to the International Olympic Committee. Our voices must be heard!

This article is part of our humour section.

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