The 2018 Winter Olympics are fast approaching: here is what to know to get ready for the games.
The Pyeongchang Games will be the 23rd Winter Games. The first were held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. This is the second Olympic Games to be held in South Korea. Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics in 1988. Also, this is the first year that viewers across all U.S. time zones will have access to live coverage.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) approved athletes from North and South Korea to walk under a pro-unification flag during the Olympic opening ceremonies, according to the games’ official website. There will also be a combined women’s hockey team with members from both Korean nations.
According to CNN, North and South Korean skiers will spend several days training at a newly built resort in North Korea. In addition to North Korean athletes participating in the games, they will also be sending 230 supporters to cheer on their athletes.
Junior Sarah Diesing reflected on this year’s importance of the Olympic Games.
“At a time where tensions are high, the Olympics are bringing the world together under one cause,” Diesing said. “The Olympics is a time for us all to cheer for humanity and forget about all of our feuds.”
According to TeamUSA.org, Team USA will be represented by 240 athletes during the games, along with four-time World Cup skier Lindsey Vonn and two-time Olympic halfpipe gold medalist, snowboarder, Shaun White. This year’s games could be the last time the two decorated Olympians compete. The National Hockey League (NHL) announced that none of its players will be participating in this year’s Olympic Games. Their recent decision will end the league’s participation with the games. They have previously participated in the last five winter games.
Four new events have been added to the roster this year: big air snowboarding, mass speed skating, freestyle skiing and mixed doubles curling.
The Olympics announced the 2018 Olympic mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang. According to the games’ official website, the white tiger is a part of Korean folk tales and is considered Korea’s guardian animal.
The 2018 medals were created by Korean designer Lee Suk-Woo. The medals are crafted with a texture that resembles tree trunks and feature diagonal lines with three-dimensional consonants from the Korean alphabet, according to the games’ official website.
Junior Caroline Kelly is hoping to watch the opening ceremonies as well as a few of the ice skating competitions.
“I like watching the opening ceremonies,” Kelly said. “I think it’s really cool to see all the different people from all around the world coming together to celebrate something.”
For those planning a watch party, coverage of the games will be airing on NBC. A livestream of the games will be available for streaming on the NBC Olympics website and on the NBC Sports app. Coverage starts on Thursday, Feb. 8, with mixed doubles curling and ski jumping. The opening ceremonies will air on Friday, Feb. 9, at 6 a.m.