Tim Skeval, Murphy Foss, Tarky Lombardi
Currently, the very best athletes on the planet are in Pyeongchang, South Korea to compete against one another in the XXIII Winter Olympic Games. Just over 200 countries will participate in over 100 different events, in what is the most globally celebrated sporting tradition in history. The sporting events in Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Cross Country Skiing, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Nordic Combine, Short Track Speed Skating, Skeleton, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding and Speed Skating started on Feb. 8. The United States sent 198 of its best athletes to compete for gold.
The entire Winter Olympics span from Feb. 8 to Feb. 25. Even though the opening ceremony is on the night of Feb. 9, the first event, curling, begins on Feb. 8. “I find curling to be very entertaining and it is something I will definitely watch more this Olympics,” said sophomore Sam Fetchner. Last year the US curling team finished second to last, only ahead of Germany. “I think they’ll be able to get the job done this year,” said junior Nolan Kinahan; “I really enjoy watching the hockey team though.” This year the U.S. hockey team doesn’t have any NHL players on the roster, only college students, “I think it’s pretty cool, we get to see who the new faces of the sport will be,” said junior Turner Pomeroy. One of the more popular sports among Americans is figure skating, “I really enjoy watching the skaters’ new routines and jumps,” said freshman Avery Young. This year all eyes are on American phenom and first-time olympian Nathan Chen; “he’s my favorite skater,” said Young.
“I’m very excited to watch the games this year,” said junior Josh Greenway. Some of the school-wide favorite events include Ski Jump and Bobsleigh. “I got the chance to meet to Jamaican Bobsleigh team, so I will be cheering for them in Bobsleigh, but in all other events I will continue to cheer for my country,” said senior Alex Payne. Both the U.S. and Jamaican Bobsleigh teams will begin their strive for gold starting Feb. 18.
There has been some controversy over sending American athletes to the games this year due to high tensions with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). The games are being held roughly 50 miles from the Demilitarized Zone, which is a heavily guarded border separating North and South Korea. Tensions have been high between the U.S. and North Korea after an exchange of insults between President Donald Trump and the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. “I’m glad we decided to send athletes,” said Kinahan, “I don’t think that they’re in danger over there.” In the recent weeks tensions have cooled between North Korea and South Korea after they agreed to combine women’s ice hockey teams for the games and march together during the opening ceremony. “I think it’s cool,” said junior Adam Honis, “hopefully that means nothing bad will happen to the athletes.”
In the XXII Winter Olympic Games (2014), The United States won 28 medals, placing first overall in medal count, but third in gold medals behind Norway and Canada. Norway holds the the record for most winter olympic medals with 329, the U.S. is a close second with 282. “I think it would be fun if we could beat [Norway],” said Computer Technician Hayley Nies. In anticipation of the Games, Ms. Nies decorated the Mac Lab in an Olympic theme, “I love the Olympics,” said Ms. Nies, “I like the athletes’ stories and the hardships that they’ve overcome.”
Spend some break time watching the Olympics, which will be broadcasted on NBC, to cheer on our country. Click here to see the full schedule for the Games.