The Appalachian State University debate team members shared their opinions on
the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics including figure skating, politics, and international
Tia Ferrara, novice debater, was excited to hear that the Knierim figure skating team will be part of the olympics this year. Ferrara said, “I am a huge fan of figure skating. Watching these amazing individuals skate each year is really inspiring for amateurs like myself or just people in general who have to work hard for something they believe in is really beautiful and just fun”.
She was also hoping that the appearance of Kim Jong Un’s sister will be a good sign for Korea
relations. Ferrara has never really played winter sports video games. She sees them as more of
a post-game novelty, a series of minigame collections, and simplified versions of the sport. It
encourages gamers to expand into winter sports but games like Ubisoft’s Steep: Road to the
Winter Olympics  do not have career mode like in Madden. The olympic games are so big
but short so people tend to focus on them as they occur. In relation, interest in the videogame
version immediately fades once the Olympics are over.
Benjamin Sessoms, open debater, actually said he preferred to watch the summer Olympics but this year’s Winter Olympics should still be interesting. Sessoms said, “I’m not super into it [the olympics] but I think it will be interesting this year concerning the South Korean political climate”.
North Korea and South Korea’s compromise is a good sign concerning the future of peace.
Although Sessoms admitted to watching curling with his dad each year, his father lives too far
away to continue the tradition. Sessoms said he believed the Russian doping ban was “fair” and
discourages other athletes from doping.
Of course, he was happy to hear that clean independents are still welcome to participate. He mentioned that he has not played any snowboarding video games in a long time because they are fun but they are not good representations of the actual Olympic athletes.
Samuel Vaughn, open debater, said, “While the whole thing [the olympics] is just for show, I think it’s great that all of the countries can come together in this celebratory fashion”. He also said it should be “really neat” to see Nigeria joining in this year and finally be a part of this event.
Vaughn mentioned that he played Steep but it was not really his style. He thought the modes
were cool but it was far too expensive for the experience.
Vaughn stated, “This game started off at like 50 dollars when I think it should’ve been like maybe 20 because the entire experience was just kind of ‘meh’ and there have been like five or six different versions of the same game. It was a videogame and it was about winter sports but it wasn’t really the olympics”.
Novice debaters have less than one year of experience on the debate team at ASU while open
debaters have one or more years of experience.