With the 2018 Winter Olympics now underway, a Syracuse University professor is reflecting on his time with the USOC and looking ahead to the 2018 Games in South Korea.
Rick Burton is the David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management at SU.
He was the Chief Marketing Officer for the United State Olympic Committee for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
“It’s pretty spectacular because you know that the world is watching.” Burton tells NewsChannel 9.
The world may be watching, but Burton acknowledges that the focus is not always on the athletes.
Some of the first images to emerge from the 2018 Games are what some are calling a historic handshake.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife greeted VIPs in their dignitary box to watch the opening ceremony, they turned to shake hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister.
Kim Yo Jong arrived earlier in the day on an unprecedented visit to the South by a member of the North’s ruling Kim family.
“The Olympics have been this great showdown for a lot years between the Americans and the Russians, the Americans and the Chinese, the world comes together and let’s see what you have.” Burton says.
But no doubt Burton says Americans will be watching the competition and looking for the next great sports hero to emerge from these 2018 Games.
“Is it going to be a skier, or a figure skater, is it going to be a hockey player that moment is never defined by the sport it’s defined by the moment.” He says.
Central New York native Erin Hamlin took center stage at the Olympics Friday when she led Team USA in the opening ceremony.
Hamlin is a four-time Olympian and the first female American luger to medal at any Winter Olympics, as well as the first American of either gender to medal in singles competition.
She brought home the bronze medal in Sochi’s 2014 Winter Olympics.