The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea rage on, and the medal race is being swept by the Scandinavian nation of Norway. The United States has thus far had a respectable showing, with 5 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals. The U.S. has medaled in nearly every Olympic sport at least once, but there are some exceptions, including the biathlon.
The biathlon is an sporting event that involves cross country skiing and target shooting at checkpoints along the route. The United States has medaled in cross-country skiing and shooting separately in the past, but never have they scrounged up a top three finish in the event that simply puts them together. Why? Politics.
That is probably not entirely accurate, but according to a recent study broadcast on Meet the Press, they brought up the interesting point that significantly more Democrats enjoy skiing, while (unsurprisingly) Republicans were much more likely to go shooting. So of course, in the classic American fashion, the two sides have yet to come together to make a successful biathlete.
The same study did reveal a more positive result, however. Both parties have about the same likelihood to watch the Olympics, and this Winter Olympics in particular has a strong sense of unity.
North and South Korea have made huge strides toward lasting peace on the peninsula, at least between the two nations. In a historic event, the countries have come together to form an Olympic female hockey team, and representatives from both Koreas participated in the carrying of the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony. So in a way, North and South Korea can get along better than the Republican and Democratic parties.
As sad as that may appear, things are looking up for all parties involved. The North Korean delegation has invited the South Korean president to the North to talk peace. Arguably just as important (but not really), the United States’ biathlete recently won the world championship, so gold may yet be attainable for America’s most politically decisive sport.