The Olympic spirit is a phrase liberally tossed around to describe the athletes at the world’s greatest athletic stage every four summers. As defined by the Olympic Creed, the Olympic spirit is:“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.”Should this be true? Sure. Is it? Probably not.Athletes are inherently competitive, especially the best athletes from around the world, and it seems silly to be able to tell someone who wins for a living to be alright with not living just because it is a special occasion.However, the Olympics are about more than sports. The stories are less frequently broadcast in NBC’s primetime coverage, but there are still heartwarming stories to be found throughout the Games. For example, the story of 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan, who once competed for the Soviet Union and in Rio became the world’s oldest Olympic female gymnast, or weightlifter David Katoatau of Kiribati, who danced during the competition to raise awareness for climate change.These are the stories that give the Olympic spirit meaning. Neither athlete medaled and yet their stories are ones that have the opportunity to be told.For athletes in less glamorous sports from less glamorous lands with less chance of a glamorous endorsement, the Olympic spirit rings true. For the majority of athletes, the chance to compete in the Olympics comes with the knowledge that the experience is the most valuable asset. For the likes of superstars such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps or Simone Biles, the Olympics are more valuable as a launching point into the next wave of a career.It is smart for these athletes to take advantage of the monetary and career opportunities that are tied to the Olympics for some of the more popular sports, but for the hundreds of other athletes who do not receive the same attention from the mainstream media, the best they can hope for is to embrace and honor the Olympic spirit.The Olympic spirit is applicable in everyday life, and there are endless inspirational quotes conveying the same message. We see them everyday on friends’ Instagram bios and classmates’ notebooks, but most ordinary lives are so far removed from the Olympics it would be seemingly difficult to find inspiration in a creed meant for the world’s most impressive athletes.And yet, here we all are, at the University of Southern California. No, it isn’t Oxford or Harvard, but without a doubt it is an extremely prestigious university who has graduated people who have changed the way the world operates and thinks.All the students at USC were once the Olympians of their high school and now that they’ve won a medal, moved on to the next part of their education.As a competitive student at USC, it is easy to get caught up in the “winners are the only ones who succeed” mentality, but upon closer inspection, the time spent at USC is more similar to a three-week stay at the Olympics than one might think.As the Olympic creed says, the most important thing is to take part, so do not be afraid to experience USC in every avenue. Do not worry solely about winning, but also learn from the battle that college is every day in a variety of ways. As the creed finishes by saying that to fight well is the most essential aspect, it’s hard not to appreciate that as a Trojan, where we live by the motto, “Fight On!”Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Wednesdays.
The game was close until the fourth quarter when the Buffaloes started to run away with the lead. The Trojans were able to close it to a 1-point deficit in the last minute of the game, but the Buffaloes closed the game out at the free throw line. With USC up by 3 points in the last 30 seconds, junior guard Minyon Moore stole an inbound pass from graduate student guard Sarah Porter and hit two free throws. However, Utah hit a quick 3-pointer and stole the inbound pass with 13 seconds to play. Mariya Moore blocked the potential game-winning three, sealing the Trojans’ victory. More than halfway into Pac-12 play, the USC women’s basketball team is currently sitting near the bottom of the standings. This past weekend, the Trojans went on a road trip to No. 17 Utah and Colorado, splitting their games with an 84-80 victory over the Utes and an 81-76 loss to the Buffaloes. Senior guard Mariya Moore had a big game early in the Utah matchup, putting up 8 quick points to give USC an early lead. The score at the end of the first quarter was 23-19 USC, after eight lead changes in the first 10 minutes. Moore said she bought into the green-light mentality despite the team’s recent shooting struggles. Head coach Mark Trakh’s Trojans entered Friday’s matchup with Utah coming off two straight wins over Washington and Washington State. USC was 3-7 in Pac-12 play, with its only previous win coming against UCLA. USC shot 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc in the first half. Redshirt sophomore forward Asiah Jones and the Trojans took charge on the glass, leading the Utes 21-11. Jones had five rebounds for the game, four of which came on offense. “I’m very proud of myself,” Tapley said. “I’ve really have been focusing on the game and how I played, not really worried about the other negative things going around me.” The Trojans finished their road trip at Colorado Sunday. The Buffaloes, who hadn’t won a game in conference play to that point, dominated the Trojans for most of the game, emerging victorious in a high-scoring affair. Utah started the fourth quarter with a quick 5-1 run and lead, narrowing its deficit to 4 points in the first minute and a half. After three more baskets, the Utes tied the game at 68 points with under seven minutes left in regulation. “It’s hard to be in the gym so much and not hit shots, but we are just at the point where, it’s like, at least we are confident now whether we make it or miss it,” Moore said. Although USC suffered its eighth Pac-12 loss on the season, the Moore sisters continued to play at a high level. The sisters combined for 41 points, 13 rebounds and three steals against the Buffaloes. In addition, Minyon Moore played the entire game, while Mariya only missed two minutes. For the Buffaloes, the double whammy of sophomore guard Mya Hollingshed and senior guard Alexis Robinson kept the Trojans at bay, combining for 37 points and 11 rebounds. Hollingshed and Robinson had a strong game on both sides of the ball, draining a combined six 3-pointers and forcing five turnovers. Mariya Moore finished with 23 points on 66 percent shooting in 39 minutes of action, but her biggest play came on the other side of the ball. “I’ve got to sprint with all my effort, I can’t let her get the three off, so I just jump as high as I could,” Moore said. “It probably doesn’t look like I got high up, but I tried to jump as high as I could, and I guess I just tipped it.” At halftime, Moore had 16 points in 20 minutes for the Trojans, equaling Utah redshirt freshman guard Dru Gylten. Moore hit three 3-pointers, shooting 75 percent. She also added three rebounds to her total, while senior guard Aliyah Mazyck forced two steals. At the beginning of the third quarter, the Trojans extended their lead to 10 points with a shot from Mariya Moore. After trailing by as many as 14 points, the Utes entered the final quarter down 68-59. Another standout player was junior forward Ja’Tavia Tapley, who scored 14 points in less than 30 minutes. Tapley missed just two shots and snagged six rebounds. Senior guard Mariya Moore was all over the court against Utah, scoring 23 points and recording the game-winning block. (Tal Volk/Daily Trojan) The Women of Troy are now 14-9 overall, with six more games to play until the Pac-12 tournament. They will return home this weekend with important matches against Cal and Stanford Friday and Sunday, respectively, at Galen Center.