Millennial Olympians undermine ideas of our generation’s laziness

Cloe Kim is the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal.

Cloe Kim is the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal.

Jazmin Velasquez

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Over the course of the last week, the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea has experienced athletes as young as 17-years-old making their debut in the Games and winning gold medals. These athletes are achieving their dreams and competing against professionals almost twice their age in sports ranging from snowboarding to ice dancing. The youngest athletes making their first appearance in the Games have surely made these Winter Olympics more than memorable.

American snowboarders Chloe Kim and Redmond Gerard have both earned the title of Olympic gold medalists. Kim not only secured a gold medal in the Women’s Halfpipe finals, but became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal at the age of 17. Kim shined in PyeongChang last week, scoring a perfect 100 in the Halfpipe event. Gerard became the youngest man to win gold in the Men’s Slopestyle event.

Representing Team USA, Kim and Gerard are each making their first appearance at the Olympics this year. Both individuals are now among the best athletes in their respected sporting event, all while being under the age of 20. Their intense and competitive determination has surely paid off, allowing them to win grand accomplishments and become some of the youngest individuals to make the national team.

Being so young and having what it takes: years of practice, patience and perseverance certainly draws wide attention. These world-class athletes are performing at professional levels in the time span that other people can only dream of. Great success will always call for great criticism.

Members of the Baby Boomer generation have expressed their opinions of negativity against the victorious millennials in this year’s Games. Instead of focusing on their accomplishments, some have found it rather intimidating that these young adults are making their way into the professional sports league. They find the young athletes living self-centered lives all while being disengaged with their communities. Each of these motivated athletes competing with adults well into their late 20s and early 30s show no sign of letting their age prevent them from keeping up with people who have almost double the years of experience.

Not only are the athletes experiencing this resentment, the collective generation of millennials are as well. Age is really just a number and not something the older generation should be using to call out the athletes. Millennials are on the rise to becoming the new working and middle class. We will see them become our future educators, business management and healthcare specialists. The faster it takes for the somewhat distorted image of millennials to change and for older generations to see them at more than face value, the less time will be spent believing they are not capable of life’s responsibilities.

It is admiring to see such determination in the individuals of the millennial age. Some of the competitors are still in high school having to make time for homework, SAT testing and making the grades all while training up to several hours a day. Who ever said that the upcoming generation only consists of entitled, unmotivated, stay-at-home until they’re 30-years-old were very mistaken.