Vermonters on world stage doesn’t spark Olympic hype

If you’re looking to get into the Winter Olympics, you better move to Vermont, but don’t expect any Vermonter to know you made the team.

With sixteen Vermont-born athletes in the Olympics this year, you would expect that many people around the Green Mountain State would be paying close attention to the games, especially around college campuses. Not so much.

When asked if she had been watching the Olympics, Alexandra Johnstone said, “Slightly, yes … when it’s not cross country.” She also said she couldn’t think of any other suite watching the Olympics. A quick search of this reporter’s dorm revealed only one common room had the Olympics on. Rooms throughout the halls were in mid-semester shape though, with guys crowded around the TV playing Xbox, the basses of songs booming down the hall and students studying for classes.

The lack of Olympic spirit and awareness was the same from Babcock to Hoff.

“Fourteen,” Shawn Pinsonault said when asked how many Vermont Olympians are competing this year. It was a pretty close guess, considering he said he has only watched the Olympics one night. When others were asked, most knew that the number was around 10 to 20. 

But 16 is a large number for a state our size. In fact, Vermont has the most Olympians per capita, followed by New Hampshire.

When most people were told of that fact, they were impressed.

“It’s a big deal that people from Vermont are in the Olympics, because we are such a small state,” said Derek Blouin.

Blouin is also one person who watches the Olympics a lot.

“I enjoy watching pretty much all of the winter games, especially when they fall,” he said.

Michael Bergeron also watches the games every day and said that he wasn’t surprised that Vermont had so many athletes in Olympics.

“Vermont is a good place to live and train for winter athletes,” he said.

Most students may not be following the games closely, but one student thinks they soon will be.

Matt Rafus says people are just waiting for events like speed skating and figure skating to get over with.

“People know that the good events are coming, soon enough a lot more people will start watching them,” he said.

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