February 20, 2018

JEONG | Winter Olympics… In Ithaca?

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Dear Mayor Myrick,

I hope your February break has been going well. It’s been a few weeks since I saw you driving through the Commons. I waved at you, but you pretended not to notice. I’m going to act like that never happened, because I have bigger issues that I want to address today.

Since the last time we’ve met, I’ve been watching a lot of this Winter Olympics — dozens of sports that I never knew existed two weeks ago have now consumed my entire life. As a proud Korean, I am so excited that my native country is hosting these Winter games. But also as a proud Korean, I find myself having to lie to people that I know exactly where Pyeongchang is. About seven people have asked me so far, and to be honest, I still haven’t bothered to do a quick Google search. I tell them it’s an hour or so away from Seoul, and because Korea is a pretty small country, I’m thinking that my guess is unassuming enough.

The point is, I think the Olympics could be an incredible business opportunity to put Ithaca on the map. Every few years, the eyes of the world fixate on a city as the beacon for our finest athletes, and in 2018, the world looks to a small, unknown county in South Korea. To be honest, if people had told me a few years ago that Pyeongchang was hosting the Winter Olympics, I would’ve told them it’s pronounced “Pyongyang” and made fun of them for being ignorant about East Asian geopolitics.

The beauty of Ithaca is that our volatile weather could allow for us to host both the Summer and Winter games, but let’s be real — we’re not at Summer Olympics status yet. Let’s leave those up to the big boys over in Los Angeles or Beijing. But don’t let that disappoint you — I would argue that Ithaca’s landmarks are better suited to the Winter games anyways.

The Olympic Village can be situated in the dorms up in North Campus. This move can also be advantageous in cutting costs, because we already have hundreds of safe sex posters displayed throughout freshman dorms. Furthermore, these athletes are some of the finest physical specimen the world has to offer, and diet will be one of their crucial concerns. Luckily for them, Appel offers unlimited chicken breast, which is a great source for clean proteins, as well as a mid-sized salad bar. For the more high maintenance athletes who are unhappy with these options, I suggest they drive to Corelife and eat by themselves.

You might say that these details are secondary and what about the sports themselves? I’m so glad you asked. I recommend that we transform Libe Slope into a fully-functional ski hill, equipped with a state-of-the-art lift. This addition will not only be useful for the games, but I also guarantee that class attendance from West Campus residents will go up by at least 74 percent during the school year. As for the other sports, I don’t know too much about how they work, but I’m guessing that we can fit most of them into the hockey rinks at Cornell and I.C.

The Winter Olympics can be a catalyst for profound reinvention of Ithaca small businesses, and it would be a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of our finest attractions like Gorgers Subs and the 7-11 on College Avenue On a side note, it could also be advantageous for your own career and it would look really nice on the resume for a potential congressional run in the next few years. And what am I getting out of all of it? If this means we can bring Travis Scott to Slope Day, I wouldn’t be opposed to that either.

Yours truly,

Jason Jeong

Jason Jeong is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]. Jeongism appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.