2018 Winter Olympics

Gabriella Rusek, Staff Writer

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The Summer Olympics used to include figure skating and ice hockey before people wanted to add more snow and ice games. The Winter Olympics was then created in 1921 being held only three months after the summer games by the same country. In 1992 it was officially changed to the winter games being held every four years just like the Summer Olympics, but two years after the summer games.

Friday, February 9th, was when the Winter Olympic Games started, which are currently being hosted in PyeongChang County, South Korea. The games officially started when the torch was lit and the hosting country displayed their culture and welcoming of the competitors into the stadium during the opening ceremony. The 2018 mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang. The tiger is “closely associated with Korean mythology and culture” and is a “familiar figure in Korean folk tales as a symbol of trust, strength and protection,” according to the Games website.

On September 20th of 2017, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said the country is pushing to ensure security at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games amid rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear tests and a series of missile launches. Due to terrorism around the world, rising security and officers will already be on alert, but now, since the Winter Games are so close to North Korea, they will have to be more focused than ever. Evalyn Kim, a junior at WVHS, said, “It’s scary that something that is supposed to be fun for the athletes and spectators could turn out into something disastrous and messy.”

A total of 90 countries will be represented by their athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics. This upcoming Olympics, the United States will have at least one athlete competing in each event. The U.S has many stars on the roster like Lindsey Vonn, who has attended the Olympics before and has won gold at the world championships in 2009. Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold medal in the 2014 games for solemn, an event where you ski downhill between poles and gates. She was rewarded her last gold medal as an eighteen year old and is going again for the gold now at twenty-two years old.  Even though most people in the United States don’t have friends or family that compete in the games, many still watch to support and route for their country or favorite athletes. Mr. O’Brien, teacher at Warwick Valley High School , said, “Let’s go U.S.A.”

One big country that won’t be represented at the Winter Olympics this year is Russia. The IOC banned Russia from attending these upcoming games due to an investigation that lasted seventeen months. There were allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games, which were hosted by Sochi, Russia. Any athletes from Russia who has showed the committee that they were clean and not on any dope were allowed to compete this winter, under one condition. They would be under a neutral flag and would not be representing Russia and will be called “Olympic Athlete from Russia.”  Grigory Rodchenkov was the directory of the anti-doping laboratory during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He alleged the country ran a systematic program of doping and claimed he had created substances to enhance athletes’ performances and switched urine samples to avoid detection. Some politicians in Russia believed that they should be encouraging clean athletes to boycott the Olympic games since what the committee was doing to Russia was absurd, but other politicians were encouraging clean athletes to go and take part in the games since they have earned it fairly. The committee wanted to show other countries and their athletes that doing something like this is unacceptable and won’t be taken lightly. Ian Ritchie, a junior at WVHS said, “ I’m glad Russia was banned from these games so athletes who played fair will only compete with other athletes who also played fairly.”

In previous years when watching the Olympics, you always had spoilers to outcomes of events without even watching them, but this year is the first year that the games won’t only be shown live from the time zone from where the games are being held. Now the games will be shown live across all time zones so everyone watching on TV can watch the events without being shown what the outcome is before the event they are done watching is over. Remember to tune in February 9th to support your athletes while they compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang county, South Korea.

 

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2018 Winter Olympics