BY ARYN LAYNO | STAFF WRITER
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is only 40 miles from its border with North Korea. This issue of proximity raises the question of how much of a threat North Korea poses over the Olympic games.
“If there were some type of war action, that would change things dramatically,” said Samuel Auxier, president of the U.S figure skating team, in an article by Jere Longman of the NYT.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina believes that the U.S would be aiding North Korea’s regime ways, and that boycotting the games would be the best idea. But the athletes participating won’t let a political feud get in the way of their career.
“I think they need to be careful saying things like that because these athletes have worked so hard to get there,” said Auxier. “The Olympics should be above politics. They shouldn’t be playing politics with this.”
Olympians train for years to participate in the Olympics, and according to Auxier, boycotting it would devastate the athletes. The same issue goes back to 1980, when the U.S boycotted the summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia due to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Don Paige, American track and field olympian, was supposed to compete at the 1980 Olympics for the 800 meter event. Paige had run the fastest 800 meter time that year and was a fan favorite. But due to the boycott former president Jimmy Carter had issued, he did not compete. “To this day I have never watched that Olympic 800 final, I made a promise to myself,” Paige told CNN.
Although tensions between supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and President of the U.S, Donald Trump, have risen lately due to Trump’s “bigger button” feud, North and South Korea have a more peacful relationship. Last year, North Korea sent their women’s national hockey team to play in South Korea, and South Korea sent their women’s soccer team to play in North Korea.
BBC News reported that North and South Korea have also announced that the two nations will be marching under the same flag as a sign of their unified relationship after almost 70 years of being at war. Still, the issue of proximity raises some concerns.
Pyeonchang, the location of the Olympics, is only forty miles away from the border between North and South Korea. This adds to the possible threat that North Korea poses on the Olympics. “Allowing Kim Jong Un’s North Korea to participate in #WinterOlympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet,” Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted. Adding to the dangers North Korea poses, North Korea has a well known reputation of violence, such as their 1988 attack on a Korean Air Flight ten months before the 1988 Olympics, as a way of protesting the Olympic games. However, current signs are pointing towards North Korea refraining from attacking the Olympics. Specifically, North Korea’s athletes performing in the 2018 Olympics and their unified flag, symbolizing their newfound relationship of peace.
“These worries are understandable,” said Choi Moon-soon, governor of the South Korean province where the Olympics will take place, “If they participate in the event, that threat disappears.”
BY CAMDEN FOUSER | STAFF WRITER
Behind the wheel, everything feels different. You try to appear calm and collected, but on the inside you are freaking out. As just a beginning driver, the freshmen are sure anxious to get started. Driving can be a very rewarding and exciting activity, but driving is also dangerous and requires concentration. Just like everything, driving requires practice. The sooner you start, the more you practice, the better you will get.
“Driving gives me the freedom to drive wherever I want without a parent,” Xavier Garcia, freshman, said. Driving provides a certain feeling of freedom and maturity.
According to The New Mexico graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, you have to be fifteen to legally drive. To receive your provisional license, you must be fifteen and a half years old and you must have at least 50 hours driving, including 10 at night. However, kids are starting as young as age thirteen.
“When I was twelve, I took my dad’s car and drove it into the start of a river,” Ryan LaClair, freshman, said. “He was teaching me how to drive a stick, and I got in the wrong gear. We went down a hill.” That was LaClair’s first experience driving. She currently has her permit.
Kids often practice driving with their parents unofficially. Of course they aren’t driving on the highways and big roads, but more in residential areas. Many kids go to drivers ed with prior knowledge of how to operate a vehicle.
“When I was seven, I would sit on my dad’s lap He would control the gas and brake, and I would turn on turn signals and work the steering,” Amer Dajani, freshman, said. “Essentially, I would copy what he would do.”
Most freshmen are already taking driving classes and some are already finished. “I would like to practice more so I can be a proficient driver. Also, the quicker I take driver’s ed the quicker I can receive a car,” Hunter Valerio, freshman, said.
If you think that the younger you are the more likely you are to get in a wreck, you would be right. The Highway Loss Data Institute reports that 16 year old drivers are the most dangerous on the road. In fact, 16 year olds are responsible for the most deaths on the road out of every age, and in 2016, 2,820 teen motor accidents were reported by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to Valerio, “If I got in a crash, I would be worried to get back on the road, and my parents would definitely take my car.”
MADISON HOGANS | STAFF WRITER
The key clicks out of the lock as I wave goodbye to my father. It’s a crisp, clear January morning, the sky still dark and the temperature still low. I turn away from the gate and my house as I start my walk towards La Cueva.
This scene may be ordinary to most people, but to me this is an opportunity of highest magnitude. This first year of high school marks a new era of freedom for me: the ability to walk to and from school. And as a bonus, both done without adults.
I’m well aware that’s not the norm with most other students. I’ve seen many children, whether alone or in small groups, walking towards the halls of education. They’re left to their own devices and the weather of the day. For many years, this was my pastime, to observe this sacred event, a look but don’t touch kind of thing.
Sitting in a car, my mother, father or both at the front, I remember looking upon my peers and thinking ‘There’s something that I want to do. The Rite of Passage.’ And now, walking through a dirt lot in 20 degree temperatures, I’m more than certain I’ve completed this rite.
Everyone I knew told me that the joy of walking alone would wear off quickly. That the silence would bother you, and when the weather turned cold, you would wish for the car again. But that hasn’t happened.
Personally, I like the silence of a single person and nature. Where the only things I can hear are the gusts of wind and my own breath. The joy of being alone, with no human staring, when it’s me and me only, is the bursting of a lock on my soul.
Dirt coats my shoes, thorns and tumbleweeds reach for my coat, and the air around my mouth turns white from the combination of warm and cold air, but I can’t stop smiling.