2018 Winter Olympics Preview


by Emily Sackley, Staff Writer

The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXII Olympic Winter Games, is a major international multi – sport event. The Winter Olympics will begin on Friday, February 9th, and will end on Sunday, February 25th. For those watching in the U.S., NBC will broadcast the games on TV and online.

The host city, Pyeongchang, is in South Korea. Officials announced in 2011 that South Korea had beaten top bids from Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France to host the games. This will be the second time the Olympic Games will be held in South Korea (Seoul was the host of the 1988 Summer Olympics).

Pyeongchang is about 80 miles east of the capital of Seoul and about 60 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. Just recently, North Korea was allowed to send athletes to the Olympics. In the past, North Korea’s attendance in the games has been sporadic. This is most likely attributed to the feuding between North and South Korea.

Luckily, North and South Korea wanted to put their differences aside to create a “Peace Olympics” for this year’s games. Opening and closing ceremonies will be housed at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, which has a capacity for 35,000 spectators.

This year, four new events were added by the International Olympic Committee for 2018. The new events are big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass start speed skating, and mixed doubles curling. Overall, the athletes at Pyeongchang will compete in seven sports, including biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating, and skiing, with 15 varied disciplines across all sports.

Each competitor will be vying for at least one of the 102 medals available. Created by designer Lee Suk-Woo, these medals have been crafted especially to resemble tree trunks, symbolizing the Korean landscape and culture.

This year many dedicated athletes are going to the Olympics in Pyeongchang. Some of these athletes will be representing the Chicago area. Emery Lehman, an Oak Park native, made the team for long-track speed-skating. Carpentersville skater, Bradie Tennell, made the Olympic figure skating team. Glenview’s Brian Hansen qualified for the Olympic long-track speed skating, and Highland Park’s Jason Brown was named Olympic alternate in figure skating. These are a few of the amazing athletes who are going to the 2018 Winter Olympics.