No matter how groovy Coloradans know Colorado to be, the rest of the country views the centennial state as a pot-smoking, mountain-obsessed, weirdo-producing machine, unless it’s during the Winter Olympics, of course. Then and only then Colorado praised for its athleticism. Because even America would feel bad about about neglecting the state that provided the U.S. Olympic Team with more athletes than any other in 2018.
Among the 31 Coloradans competing in PyeongChang, several are students or alumnae from CU Boulder. Typical students are either too stoned to know that the Olympics are taking place, or are capitalizing off the Buff-turned-Olympians to prove that CU is in fact athletically gifted. . . seriously, bro! But for all the pride and ambivalence CU students have for the competing Olympians from Boulder, it’s a completely different reaction when the athletes actually medal.
Arielle Gold, a current CU Boulder student, won bronze in the women’s halfpipe just over a week ago, and most students can’t even get their ass to The Rec. Way to go Arielle, you’ve brought fulfillment and joy to CU, as well as some self-reflection.
Sasha Smith, a CU sophomore, gave her thoughts on the university being represented on the Olympic podium. “Pretty surreal,” she told The Black Sheep solemnly. “I mean, hats off to Arielle for putting down that dope run and everything, but it’s kind of tough watching your peers succeed worldwide while you’re taking the math MAPS requirement for the third time.”
Matthew Kalak, a junior at CU and a certified shotgunner of PBR, agreed that seeing Arielle win bronze was difficult to watch. “It’s difficult seeing that a fellow student has already perfected her craft when,” Kalak patted his beer-belly and continued, “I’ve still got a long way to go. As you can see, I haven’t fully grown into my dad bod yet. Plus, the record for shotgunning a 12 ounce is 2.78 seconds, and my personal best is only like, 5.39.”
If Gold is making numerous students second-guess their own personal hobbies, it’s nothing to how she’s made the entire Boulder Freeride Team feel. “I used to think I could shred the gnar,” said a skier who wishes to remain anonymous, “and then I saw Gold shred.” The skier shakes their head disbelievingly, “that gnar gnar just never saw it coming.”
In the wake of attending school with an Olympic medalist, it’s no surprise that other students are feeling self-conscious. However, just like the Olympics, their existential crisis will end for another two years. And once they’ve regained confidence in their abilities to shotgun a beer or ski fresh pow, they’ll be fully ready to celebrate Gold’s medal. As they should, because Buffs support Buffs. And also because she’s an Olympian.
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