All About The 2018 Winter Olympics!

The first ever winter olympics was held on January 25, 1924 at Chamonix in the French Alps. This winter, watch as the world brings it’s best winter athletes to compete on the world stage at the 23rd Winter Olympics. Once every 4 years, the countries come together in friendly competition to showcase their best athletes in the winter sports. This year, the games will be held at Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 9-25, 2018. Politically, there have been some interesting developments that will make this year unique.

What to Know:

  1. Russia is Banned: A state-sponsored doping scandal has left the entirety of Russia banned from competing in the Winter Olympics. Individual athletes are able to compete, but they must pass the drug test, and are not allowed to register with a designated country.
  2. North Korea Will Compete: North Korea wanted to be eligible to compete on the world stage this year. The request came a late, but the officials were able to register 22 athletes from North Korea to participate this year. This will be a highly tense situation due to the hostile relationship North Korea fosters against South Korea and others.
  3. Nigeria Will Compete: For the first time, Nigeria is on the Winter Olympics list. Simidele, a female athlete, will compete in the Skeleton competition. She was once a former Track and Field athlete, and has since made the switch over to winter sports. Three other women, Adigun, Onwumere, and Omeoga, make up the Nigerian bobsled team.
  4. This Year’s Mascot: The Mascot for this winter olympics is a white tiger named Soohorang. This figure is common in Korean folklore and is a symbol of trust, strength, and protection.

Sports:

  1. Alpine Skiing – downhill skiing through designated markers
  2. Freestyle Skiing – skiing downhill with aerial flips and tricks
  3. Biathlon – combines cross country skiing and rifle shooting
  4. Cross Country Skiing – use skies, poles, and bindings to move across long distances of snow
  5. Nordic Combined – cross country skiing and ski jumping
  6. Short Track Speed Skating – a race over 111.111m oval of ice to find fastest speed
  7. Snowboarding – aerial flips and tricks on slalom board
  8. Bobsledding – 2-4 person team guides down a shoot for the fastest time
  9. Curling – slide stones across ice to targets
  10. Figure Skating – individual or duo teams
  11. Hockey – national teams compete
  12. Speed Skating – race on ice over a longer distance
  13. Luge – one or two person sled guided down a track
  14. Skeleton – like luge without the sled
  15. Ski Jumping – distance covered in a single jump

There are 102 medals up for grabs and everyone wants a spot on the podium. This is a unique set of games comprised to bring the nations together. After all of the constant conflicts and political strife, it’s a breath of fresh air to see the world coming together on a global stage. Everyone sets aside their differences for a short time to gather around and watch these amazing athletes. Get involved in the action and cheer on Team USA!

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