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Winter Olympics Pyeongchang: Coverage and Analysis

Keep yourself attuned to all things Olympics this year, with coverage and analysis brought to you by Freely Magazine. Every other day, analysts Gabriel Zabala and Mai Do will reflect on what’s going on, who won what, and any other important events. Check back to hear their thoughts on this exciting (and global) annual sports tournament!

Opening Ceremony (2/11/2018)

By Gabriel Zabala

Although not a great fan of opening ceremonies, the one for this year’s Winter Olympics was one to be remembered. Thursday’s ceremony, which was broadcasted on Friday night in the U.S. for marketing and advertising purposes, marked the first time that both North and South Korea marched together under the same flag on the Olympic games. The moment created a lot of joy in the public, evidenced by the fact that  arguably all the crowd members received the marching athletes with a standing ovation. What was a historic act could become even more memorable with time as many argue it could be either a turning point towards the betterment of the international relationship between both countries or even one of the last acts of friendship and fellowship between the two.

The rest of the ceremony also seem to be centered on the themes of merging, and co-relations between elements, nations and groups that  may seem like opposites. The South Koreans, who believe that everything was created from the same basic source of energy, presented a ceremony with lots of graphics representing the harmony between humans and nature, as well as presenting first their most ancient traditions and then contrasting it with a closure of what the future may hold for one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.

Opening Ceremony | Photo Credit: ABC News

Other notable facts from the opening ceremony and the winter Olympics in general:

  • In total 92 countries will be represented, a record for winter Olympics
  • The 242 athletes that will represent the states is the bigger number by any country ever in the winter Olympics
  • The Nigerian bobsled team will be the first ever African bobsled team to participate in the Olympics

Events recap of the first couple days:

  • The first gold medal to be awarded in the 2018 Olympics was given to Charlotte Kalla from Sweden on the competition of women`s skiathlon
  • The host country South Korea also recorded a gold medal, awarded to Lim Hyo-Jun in the Men`s 1500m
  • The joint female hockey team of South and North Korea made its debut against Switzerland losing 8-0. The team was received with a shower of applause and banners calling for unity were seen in the crowd

Monday (02/12) – Wednesday (02/14)

By Mai Do (Moira)

Germany is in the lead of medals with 7 golds, and 12 medals in total. Eric Frenzel, a German skier, surpassed the leading team in the last half a kilometer lap in the men’s nordic combined individual. He snared a gold medal for team Germany while Japan took the silver and Austria the bronze.

For team U.S, snowboarding is a fertile ground for gold medal thanks to the defending champion Shawn White and the most-talked about performance of two 17-year-old teenagers. Chloe Kim, one of the 17-year-olds, made a debut in the women’s half-pipe that won her a gold with a technically challenging back-to-back 1080s trick. Redmond Regard became the first Gold winner for Team USA in the Pyeongchang Olympics. Fun fact: he overslept after a night binge watching Netflix and made it on time to win the gold!

Figure skaters Ryom Tae Ok, 19, and Kim Ju Sik, 25, the only North Korean athletes to have qualified for the Olympic Games through an international competition, made a debut today in the Olympics on Feb 14. Their score of 69.40 earned them 11th place, sufficient for a spot in Thursday’s long program.

Saturday 2/18 update

By Gabriel Zabala

The biggest highlight so far has to be Martin Fourcade who became the first Frenchman to win four Winter Olympic gold medals after an incredible photo finish in men’s cross-country, after beating the German Simon Schempp by just a few centimeters.

Another really close finish was when Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic won the women`s super-G by 0.01 of a second over the austrian Anna Veith.  

In the freestyle skiing aerial competition, Oleksandr Abramenko secured a gold medal after landing a full-full-double-full to give Ukraine their first gold medal of this year’s games and the 3rd Winter Olympics gold medal in their history.

As of the evening of Friday 2/17, both Germany and Norway were tied with the most gold medals with 9 each, but Norway had a total of 26 medals, 8 more than the Germans. The U.S. was in 5th place with 10 medals total, 5 of them gold, and the host country, South Korea, has 6 medals in total, 3 of them being gold.