For some, the Olympic Winter Games are a special moment where sport meets history, while for others, it’s just a minor inconvenience of their regularly scheduled programming. We are a subscriber of the prior; it’s a time where four years of hard work, sweat and sacrifice reach a caldron where dreams come true. The 2018 rendition of the Winter Olympics takes place in PyeongChang, South Korea. The 23rd Winter Games carried an air of tension coming in, with a less than 20 mile proximity to turbulent North Korea and Kim Jong-un. However, worries were set aside right from the Opening Ceremonies, as Kim Yo-jong (sister of Jong-un) was in attendance with the other country representatives… the first time a member of the North Korean royal family stepped foot in South Korea since the 1950’s!
One can dream in the place where dreams come true.
For the United States of America, the people have grown accustomed to watching dreams unfold before our very eyes on the Olympic stage. Whether it was the 1980 Miracle On Ice in Lake Placid or Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken winning the first Women’s Bobsleigh Gold in Olympic history in 2002 (Flowers was also the first black athlete to win a Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics), many athletes have risen to the occasion.
Shaun White, now in his 4th games, is a prime example. After winning Gold in the halfpipe upon his Olympic debut in Torino 2006, White followed up this magnificent performance with another, achieving Gold in Vancouver 2010. However, like a Celtic Druid being cast down to the lower class, he disappointed greatly in Sochi 2014. White is ready for redemption, as evident by his perfect 100 in Olympic trials.
US Athletes to Keep an Eye On: Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine Ski Racer; Gold Medalist in Sochi at 18-years-old), Lindsey Vonn (Alpine Ski Racer; Queen of the Downhill is making a triumphant return, in what will more than likely be her last Winter Games, after missing Sochi due to injury), Jamie Anderson (Snowboarder), Chloe Kim (Snowboarder), Jordan Greenway (first African-American to represent the U.S. on the hockey rink at the Olympics. He’s still in college at Boston University, where he plays forward), Nathan Chen (Figure Skater – Age: 18 – After a hell of a year on the ice, Chen is favored to win gold in PyeongChang. Part of the hype comes from a record he’s already broken: landing five quadruple jumps in one performance, making him the first male figure skater to do so).
The Medal Count section has the top-20 countries and will be consistently updated as we move on through these Olympic games. I condensed the list because it appears a few rich celebrities from Hollywood, CA, USA have bought a few pieces of land, applied for country status, and named them after their pets.
I may not cover every aspect of every game in 2018; some games may gain little attention, if at all. If figure skating is your thing, I suggest reading another article.
2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies
Erin Hamlin (Women’s Luge): US Flag Bearer won right in a coin-toss over Men’s Speed Skater and five-time Olympic game qualifier, Shani Davis. This created quite the stir:
Why not have both tote the stars and stripes since they tied in votes; after all, Canada did the same with ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The five-time Olympic qualifier Davis has the resume edge and should have been given the right in case of draw, but then he whines about it on Twitter? Seriously, who does that (enter sheepish grin)? Bottomline, Hamlin is deserving of the honor and held it well! Somebody needs to tell Davis there IS a closing ceremony… Genius.
In an otherwise flawless and beautiful ceremony, the stage was shared not once, but twice by the same intruder/exhibitionist running past security. Twice? Dilly Dilly! 1,218 drones filled the skies over PyeongChang – a Guinness world record – representing the link between technology, art and sport.
A Look at the 23rd Winter Olympic Games so Far
Mixed Curling Round Robin (New to the Games) – Two person teams, rather than four person teams of the standard game, one of each gender, offer more fast-paced action; eight ends instead of 10; and six rocks instead of eight with two preplaced from each team – one is placed in high guard center line, while the other is placed in the “house” for the team with hammer (last toss advantage). You may see the person throwing the stone get up and sweep his or her own stone since you don’t have two other sweepers. Eight countries are represented and play each other one time with the top-4 teams making playoff semifinals. Two semifinal winners will play for Gold, while the two losing teams play for bronze as standard.
As a curling enthusiast (aka nutjob), I absolutely love this adage to the games. The faster paced game could draw a younger fanbase plus having men and women competing together is down right revolutionary (we’ll also see this in Team Alpine Skiing)! The US favorites Matt & Becca Hamilton (siblings) are from Madison, Wisconsin and will also compete in both the men’s and women’s curling competitions set to start on February 14. After cruising to victory over the Olympic athletes from Russia, Matt & Becca took on the team from Canada (John Morris & Kaitlyn Lawes), who were surprised in their opening round game against Norway. Canada is favored to win Gold in all three curling events, and their mixed pair (4-1) handed the Hamiltons a 6-4 loss in a closely contested match. Three more losses later to defending World Champion Switzerland, China and host country Korea now have Hamiltons on thin ice.
— A2D Radio (@a2dradio_com) February 10, 2018
Men’s Individual Normal Hill ski jumping has also gotten underway… Fun Fact: Casey Larson is the 100,000th male US Olympian. Gold Medal favorite and current 2017/18 Ski Jumping World Cup leader Kamil Stoch (Poland; 863 points) led a list of 10 potential medalists in the most competitive field in some time. Stoch took both individual golds in Sochi as well as the 2nd leading score/distance in the qualifying round of PyeongChang. However, Norway’s Robert Johansson set a hill record in distance at 113.5m, and it was only good for Bronze! Andreas Wellinger of Germany also set a hill record at 113.5, but received more wind points to win Gold (2nd career; 1st for Germany since event was added in 1964). Johann Andre Forfang, also of Norway, took silver.
Men’s Short Track – Gold Medal to Lim Hyojun of Korea in the 1,500m; Silver Medal to Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands; Bronze Medal to Semen Elistratov of Russia. Speaking of the Netherlands and speed skating, the ladies swept the Olympic podium in the 3,000m – Carlijn Achtereekte, Gold; Ireen Wust, Silver; Antoinette de Jong, Bronze!
Laura Dahlmeier of Germany took the Gold Medal in the Women’s 7.5km Sprint Biathlon, while Charlotte Kalla of Sweden earned the Gold in Ladies’ 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon (cross-country skiing).
FULL COMPETITION SCHEDULE
2018 WINTER OLYMPICS MEDAL COUNT 2/10
*For the complete Medal Count, click here!
What has been your favorite moment of the 23rd Winter Olympics so far? We would love to read your moments in the comment section!!!