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Peek at the Week: February 7, 2022

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By Jenna Renaud

Word of the Week: Salchow 

(n) a figure-skating jump with a takeoff from the back inside edge of one skate followed by one or more full turns in the air and a landing on the back outside edge of the opposite skate 

This move is named after Ulrich Salchow (1877-1949), the winner of the first-ever Olympic medal in men’s figure skating as part of the 1908 games in London, representing Sweden. The Winter Olympics didn’t begin until 1924; however, until that point, figure skating was a part of the Summer Games. 


 

This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, Feb. 15 

“That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory Exhibit / Falvey First Floor & Online / Free & Open to the Public 

Monday, Feb. 7

Mindfulness Mondays | 1–1:30 p.m. | Virtual | https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849  

Tuesday, Feb. 8

The Bible in Black, Part 1 on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament | 12–1 p.m. | Room 205 | More info here 

Friday, Feb. 11

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting | 2:30–4:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public  


This Week in History 

February 11, 1990 – Nelson Mandela Released from Prison 

Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990. 

June 1964, Mandela was convicted along with several other African National Congress leaders for treason, illegally leaving the country, and sabotage while fighting against apartheid and sentenced to life in prison. 

During his 27 years in prison, he did not allow his resolve to break and continued to be a symbolic leader for the anti-apartheid movement, despite being able to only send two letters and have one visit per year.  

In 1989, F.W. de Klerk became South African president began to dismantle apartheid, including through lifting the ban on the ANC, suspending executions, and ordering the release of Nelson Mandela. 

In 1993, Mandela and de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. A year later, in 1994, the ANC won an electoral majority in the country’s first free elections, electing Mandela as South Africa’s president.

To read more about Nelson Mandela, view the full History.org article here. 

 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Weekend Recs: Winter Olympics

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

It feels as though we were just talking about the Tokyo Olympics (because we are), but nevertheless, it’s that time again, when athletes from all over the world are in Beijing, preparing to compete. Between COVID-19 and diplomatic boycotts, the Olympics may not be exactly the harmonious, international event we hope for, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still get excited and tune in to support our athletes! This weekend, I’m providing recs for everything Winter Olympics-related, whether you have 2 minutes or 2 hours (or all weekend, because let’s be honest, I could watch curling for HOURS).

If you have 2 minutes… read about what the robot chefs will be serving up in Beijing this year. 

If you have 9 minutes… skim everything you need to know about the Olympics from the controversies to which U.S. athletes to keep your eyes on. 

If you have 10 minutes… read about the latest Olympic snow sport arms race taking place following an environmental ban on toxic ski waxes. 

If you have 1 hour and 38 minutes… and want to celebrate the Olympics without actually watching (or paying for additional streaming services) watch Cool Runnings on Disney+ or any of these other seven movies based on the winter Olympics (some more loosely based than others). 

If you have 1 hour and 40 minutes… watch the opening ceremonies! Beijing is 13 hours ahead, so the opening ceremonies technically happened at 6:30 a.m. this morning, but if you were sleeping then, check out this article about where you can stream. NBC also offers a full schedule that you can customize, so you know what times you need to be watching! 


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Winter Olympics: It’s Time to Include Cross Country Running

By Ethan Shea

"Person running on trail in snow-covered forest"

It feels like we just finished watching the Summer Olympics … because we basically did. As we all know, the 2020 Summer Olympics were severely delayed by the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, so these 2020 Summer and 2022 Winter Olympics are occurring remarkably close to each other. During normal years, there would be a two-year gap between the events, as they both take place every four years, with two-year offsets between them.

In general, the Summer Olympics seem to be more popular. There are 339 different events a the Summer Olympics and only 109 at the Winter Games, so there are more awards and excitement to go around in the summer. Not to mention that many winter events require a specific climate and hefty funding to garner the equipment needed to take part. It follows that the Summer Olympics generally get better television ratings than its colder counterpart, as more people are apt to become emotionally attached to athletes competing in events they are familiar with.

This does not mean we should not look forward to the Winter Olympics! There are countless entertaining events, such as ice hockey, snowboarding, and curling, among 106 others, but the disparity in ratings does present an opportunity for change.

"Former Villanovan Patrick Tiernan Competing in 2020 Olympics"

Former Villanovan Patrick Tiernan Competing in the 2020 Olympics

In the 2020 Games, Villanova continued its streak of Olympic representation as four former and current Villanovans (Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, Summer Rappaport, Patrick Tiernan, and Jay Wright) competed on sport’s biggest stage. Aside from Jay Wright, who was the assistant coach of Team USA’s men’s basketball team, three of these athletes competed in events involving long-distance running. Villanova continues to produce world-class track and cross country athletes, so would it not be wonderful to watch these runners compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics? I, for one, believe this should be the case, and the best way to make this dream a reality is to add cross country running (XC) to the Winter Olympics! I am not alone in this belief, as several professional runners have voiced support for XC’s Olympic inclusion. There are many reasons why this would be beneficial not only for athletes but for fans, television producers, and Wildcats alike.

The most obvious reason why XC should be in the Winter Olympics is because it is traditionally a winter sport. Most international XC events occur between December and March, and since the Winter Olympics take place in February, this addition would fit perfectly into athletes’ race schedules. Track athletes would have enough time after the games to train for the outdoor season and marathoners would still be able to prepare for the big fall marathons. Training would be cutting it close for the Boston Marathon, which takes place in April, but I am sure athletes could make exceptions for the Olympics.

We can also deduce from the popularity of running events in the Summer Olympics that adding XC to the Winter Games would draw more viewers than ever to the global spectacle. Not only would runners around the world become invested in the games, but countless nations that are underrepresented in the Winter Olympics due to their warm climates would be drawn to the event for the first time in history.

"Athlete Ski Jumping"

The traditional Olympic sport ski jumping

From a competitive perspective, adding XC to the Olympics would create an opportunity for athletes of diverse running disciplines to race against each other for the first time. During the Summer games, marathoners do not compete against milers or steeplechase competitors, but if XC becomes and Olympic sport, fans would be able to see all different sorts of runners compete on a unique and rugged course over an 8-10 kilometer distance.

Unfortunately the International Olympic Committee (IOC) currently defines winter sports as “only those sports which are practiced on snow or ice,” but the recent addition of sports such as surfing and skateboarding to the Summer Olympics and women’s monobob (single person bobsled) to the Winter Olympics shows that the IOC is open to making changes. If any representatives of the IOC happen to be reading this blog, I hope they will consider the benefits of adding XC to the Winter Games.

On a more personal note, I would love to watch this event, and I hope I am able to do so at some point in my lifetime. For now, I’m looking forward to watching a lot of hockey, figure skating, and ski jumping next month!

If you would like to learn more about the Olympics and Villanova’s history with the world’s greatest sporting event, check out these blogs curated here at Falvey Memorial Library!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Last Modified: February 3, 2022