Watching the Olympics as a Student in Turkish Republic of North Cyprus

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: Mist rises behind the Olympic Rings during day 12 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Olympics is always an eventful time of the year where the entire world sits at the edge of their seats, rooting for their home country to take home that big gold medal. And as is the case with the football World Cup, the Olympics is a time to bond with family and friends over shared interests and cheer on your favorite teams and Olympics.

But sadly, here in Cyprus, It’s really difficult to have that experience, as cafes and restaurants seem to show no interest in airing the Winter Olympics that are currently taking place at this time. The hour that the Olympics air in the United States is 8:00 PM Eastern Time, which is 3 AM in local Cyprus time, so unless a group of people decide to pull an all-nighter to watch the show (which happens to end at 5:30 AM) there’s no way you’re going to join in on the fun and the experience. I’m a huge fan of the Olympics, and unfortunately, with the lack of resources available for me to watch them, I resort to looking up the results every day after the event and watching the couple performances that happen to go viral and are available online. But it’s not really the same. And it seems like it’s really hard to find students here whom are interested in the Olympics and actually put effort to keep track of what’s happening to be able to discuss with them. So, in the end, following the Olympics just feels like a lonely event that you can barely find somebody to share the experience with. And in a way, this separates us from the entire world. Because while the world is buzzing with Olympic news and results, we feel secluded and distanced from this entire event.

But weirdly enough when the World Cup comes around, you find everyone talking about it, watching it, all the cafes and restaurants in the city are airing the matches live. And you see the people going to the cafes and staying out till late at night watching the matches, then they drive around the town after their favorite team wins and they shouting at the top of their lungs, celebrating the victory of their favored team. This is the type of experience I wish people would have with the Olympics. But sadly, it doesn’t seem to be the case here in Cyprus.

By Anas Abdulhak