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"Failure I can live with, not trying is what I can't handle."

— Sanya Richards-Ross

Today, my friends, the 2018 Winter Olympics come to a close and we salute all the athletes for the hard work they have put their bodies and minds through over the years to make it into competition. Some are even coming back home with the gold draped round their necks.

Chloe Kim and Jamie Anderson both took first place in snowboarding, as did Shaun White, which is impressive because he split his face open a few weeks earlier practicing his routines. It was a pretty bad accident and he had to have surgery and get 62 stitches. But did he complain? Nope, in fact he just used the accident as motivation for when his time came to prove himself on the half pipe.

This is simply more evidence as to why I do not have what it takes to be an Olympian. I shy away from even going sledding, because I scraped my knee once when I was 9. While Mr. White's determination may be inspirational, you have to look easterly if you want to witness some real thrill seekers. Robert Johansson of Norway is taking home the gold for having the best performance in the men's large hill event. Essentially this competition is to ski as fast as you can down a steep hill and then, right in the middle of the course, there's a huge ramp that the competitors launch themselves off of to see who can jump the farthest. For some reason I can only assume that this "sport" began as a double-dog dare gone horribly wrong.

Now if you thought that was the only edge-of-your-seat competition then you haven't been paying close enough attention, because the mother of all scary winter activities has to be the luge. Sure, I could have said the skeleton, because that does sound pretty darn deadly, but no, the luge brings terror to a whole other level. Picture this; you lie on a sled the size of a garbage lid that's attached to two sharpened steel blades in order to power your way down an ice slide, feet first, steering by squeezing your thighs together, all the while going about 96 mph. And here's the kicker — you have to be completely sober in order to compete. Let that sink in for a moment.

Not all the events were adrenaline rushes, though. Take curling for example. It's basically bocce on ice. And, unlike any other event, I believe you're encouraged to drink heavily before sliding that stone down the lane. Question is, how do you celebrate being the best knowing that at any moment you can be beaten by someone with a Swiffer?

So today the nations return home. And although I'm not a big sports fan, I can say that the Olympics gives the world the unique opportunity to momentarily stop fighting and instead compete peacefully — and that, to me, is worth cheering for.

Auburn native Bradley Molloy's column appears here each Sunday. Ha can be reached at lovonian@hotmail.com.

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