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Fall in Love with Winter Sports: 2018 Olympics Preview

Jenny Fu, Staff Writer

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The upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in the city of Pyeongchang, The Republic of South Korea, from February 8 to 25. The Olympic feature fifteen winter  events which include speed skating, curling, and figure skating.

South Korea has previously hosted one other Olympic event, the 1988 Summer Olympics. Pyeongchang previously bidded itself into hosting the Olympics, but lost to Sochi, Russia,in 2014 and Vancouver, Canada, in 2010. They lost in the final rounds by three to four votes. In 2011, Pyeongchang won the bid for 2018 when they received 63 of the 95 votes cast, beating Munich, Germany (who received 25)  and Annecy, France (who received 7 votes).

According to Pacificholidaysinc.com, Pyeongchang is the smallest city to host the Olympic Games since 1994. It’s approximately 80 miles (120 kilometers) away from Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Pyeongchang is also expecting a new railway in 2018–a new high speed rail system that will transport passengers from Seoul in one-third the time that it now takes. 

 

 

According to Sports Illustrated, the most popular sports in the Olympics in terms of viewers are snowboarding, bobsledding, short track speed skating, ski jumping, ice hockey, figure skating, alpine skating, and figure skating or ice dancing.

Many events and people have changed for next year. For the first time in twenty years, the NHL (National Hockey League) will not be present or have any participants in the Olympics. According to the Official NHL website (NHL.com), the NHL wants to continue their season without any interruptions. Also, according to the Official Olympic Website, a new addition will be added to the curling event: mixed doubles. In addition, Alpine Skiing, traditionally an independent sport, will now have its own mixed team event. Lastly, the speed skating event will be completed with men’s and women’s ‘mass start’ events.

The official mascot of 2018’s winter Olympics is Soohorang, the white tiger. 

 

 

He was unveiled in June of 2017, and became popular quickly in South Korea and world wide. Soohorang also made an appearance at the 2016 summer Olympics. (But he wasn’t confirmed at that time.) The inspiration behind the white tiger was mythology, according to Olympic.org; the tiger in Korea has been associated with trust, strength, and protection. The white tiger was looked upon as sacred and is a guardian animal of Korea.   

At this time, it is uncertain whether Russia will be participating in the games. Recently, according to The New York Times,  it is confirmed that Russia will be banned. No Russian officials will be attending, the Russian national anthem will not play, and the Russian athletes will be carrying neutral flags and the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” The IOC said in an interview with BBC that a 14-person International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that Russia will not be participating in the 2018 Olympics. The decision was made because of scandals involving Russian athletes in the past–specifically, doping being practiced at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, says that they’ll not be boycotting the Olympics. According to the New York Times, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said no boycott was under discussion before the announcement. Olympic officials say they might lift the ban on the day of the closing ceremony,  saying the country’s flag could make an appearance in the final hours of the games.

Don’t miss out on next year’s Pyeongchang’s 2018 Winter Olympics, which will air on NBC.

Here is a  complete list of countries that will be participating in the Olympics:

Albania

Andorra

Argentina

Armenia

Australia

Austria

Belarus

Belgium

Bermuda

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bolivia

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Dominica

Ecuador

Eritrea

Estonia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Great Britain

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Iran

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Japan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kosovo

Kyrgyzstan

Latvia

Lebanon

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malaysia

Malta

Mexico

Monaco

Mongolia

Montenegro

Morocco

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Pakistan

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Puerto Rico

România

Russia (No officials attending, athletes will be dressed neutrally)

San Marino

Serbia

Singapore

Slovakia

Slovenia

South Africa

South Korea (host)

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Togo

Turkey

Ukraine

United States

Uzbekistan

 

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