2018 Winter Olympics
As the new year begins, so does the sports hype. 2018 is beginning, and on February 9, the Opening Ceremony kicked off this year’s Winter Olympics. Held in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, the Winter Olympics featured 102 events in seven sports. Ninety-seven nations and their best athletes competed for a top spot on the podium, and a chance to bring home a gold medal.
Approximately 78.3 miles from South Korea’s capital of Seoul, Pyeongchang is attracting attention from all over the world. The Olympic Flame was lit on the 24 of October 2017 and had made its journey around the world. On January 19, the flame reached Seoul, marking the 80 days of the tradition. The people of Pyeongchang wait patiently for the opening ceremony when the flame will arrive, and the games will begin.
Representing the 2018 Winter Olympics was Soohorang the white tiger, mascot for the Olympics, and Bandai the Asiatic black bear, the mascot for the Paralympics (to learn more about the mascots, click here).
The motto of the Games was, “Passion. Connected.” The motto was supposed to connect everyone to their passion for winter sports. The goals of the Pyeongchang Olympics was to break language barriers through technology and to hopefully renew the once tourist filled Korea. The emblem represented an open world, where people from all over the world come together, a combination of ice and snow to represent the winter athletes.
Six new events were added to the sports roster. They included Snowboard Big Air (men, women), Speed Skating Mass Start (men, women), Curling Mixed Doubles, and the Alpine Skiing Team Event. Viewers saw returning athletes as well as some new faces.
This year’s American team consisted of 241 athletes. It would be 242, but sadly, Alpine Skier Steven Nyman was out with a torn ACL. Of the 241 athletes, 107 were female, and 134 were male. There were 10 African American athletes, 11 Asian Americans, as well as the first two openly gay males, Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon.
America also welcomed back athletes like skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Gus Kenworthy, snowboarders Shaun White and Jamie Anderson, and figure skaters Nathan Chen and Ashley Wagner. These athletes trained hard for four years for their moment to go for the gold. In those 28 days, they worked hard to earn as many wins as possible for the U.S.
The opening ceremony began with the parade of countries. Each country represented its colors well from Kenya, with only one athlete, to the US, with 242 athletes. This year, the performance showed a new perspective on culture, by sharing their views on different animals including the white tiger, doves, and even goblins.
John Lennon’s “Imagine” was performed by Jeon In-Kwon, Lee Eun-mi, Ha Hyun-woo and Ahn Ji-young. And Intel’s new drone technology lit up the sky with a spectacular show. To watch NBC highlights from the ceremony, click here.
The U.S finished in 4th place with 23 medals (9 gold, 8 silver, and 6 bronze).
Gold medalists included snowboarders Shaun White, Chloe Kim, Red Gerard, Jamie Anderson, and skiers Mikaela Shiffrin, and David Wies. Women’s cross country skiing and the Men’s Curling team also received gold, as well as the Women’s Hockey team who finally defeated Canada after the unfortunate loss in the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
Silver medals were awarded to snowboarders Kyle Mack and Jamie Anderson, Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, Freestyle Skiers Alex Ferreira and Nick Goepper, Speed skater John-Henry Kruger, and luge runner Chris Mazdzer. And the two-man women’s bobsled team also went home with a silver medal.
Bronze medalists included snowboarder Arielle Gold, Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn – who was glad to be back after missing the last Olympics due to injury-, Freestyle Skier Brita Sigourney, as well as the members of the women’s team pursuit in speed skating, and figure skaters in the team mixed and ice dancing mixed.
Now that the winter Olympics is over, countries all over the world are preparing for the next Olympics in summer 2020 which is to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Get a head start on the hype of the summer Olympics click here.
To watch all of NBC’s daily recaps click here.
To see the 2018 winter Olympic photo gallery, click here.