By Griffith Jennings
The 2018 Winter Olympics began on February 9 and will end on February 27. The host city of Pyeongchang, South Korea, has already managed to overcome some major hurdles on the way to the games.
There were construction delays, logistical conflicts, and a lack of enthusiasm from sponsors leading to low ticket sales. However, this is a common issue among previous hosting cities.
The very first Winter Olympic Games took place in 1924 in Chamonix, France. There were only 16 events compared to over 100 in 2018. There were also only 49 medals given out in the 1924 Winter Olympics. This number has since gone up dramatically to 282 medals in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The 2018 games have also seen the addition of four new events: big air in snowboarding, mass start in speed skating, mixed doubles in curling, and a team skiing event.
One major controversy plaguing these games has been the question of what to do with Russia. In past Olympic Games, Russia has been found guilty of executing an extensive state doping program in order to win.
However, on December 5 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that Russia would be barred from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Russian athletes who have a history of passing drug tests can still compete under a neutral flag.
The major of story of the 2018 Olympics has been the relationship between North and South Korea. The two countries agreed to allow athletes to cross the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to compete. They even marched under the same flag marking a significant moment in the history of the Korean conflict.
Yet again, sports have the opportunity to act as a way to come together as one. Ultimately, after months of nuclear threats between the two countries, these small gestures of unity and peace offer hope for the relief of some tension between North and South Korea.