The Winter Olympics: what happened?

By Elijah King

Doping Scandal disqualifies Russian team

Rule 51.3 of the Olympic Charter, made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), says “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or areas.” Although this rule is in place, countries and athletes keep finding ways  to tackle controversial social and political issues every four years.

This time around, Russia was banned from the Olympics due to a doping scandal, but Russian athletes were allowed to participate in the games as individuals. They were identified as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

North and South Korea marching in the Olympics under one flag

On Feb. 14, North Korea and South Korea announced that they would be marching together in the Olympic opening show and first played together in women’s ice hockey.

After weeks of meetings between delegates from North Korea and South Korea, the two finally came to a consensus. North and South Korea fought a civil war from 1950-53 and have never signed a peace treaty. The last time North and South Korea played in the Olympics together was in London in 1948. Moon Jae, the president of South Korea, thinks the negotiations will be beneficial for other peace talks.

“The inter-Korean relationship and North Korea-US relationship should develop together,” Moon Jae said in an early statement to CNN.

Other media sources suggest the combined North and South Korean team could actually complicate America’s relationship with South Korea.

Since North Korea started playing as an independent nation, they have earned 4 winter Olympic medals since the Innsbruck Olympics in 1964.

“The Olympics is a global equalizer. If this is a way to start some type of opening, it’s a good thing,” said Christopher Meglan, an English III and Mass Communications teacher.

Olympian firsts

The Pyeongchang Olympics has marked a number of American Olympic firsts.

Making Olympic history, Adam Rippon, a figure skater, and Gus Kenworthy, a skier, were the first openly gay men to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team..

“I think it’s fantastic that it’s occurring, but I think its sad that’s it’s 2018 and it’s happening, not 1988,” former Riverside history teacher Andrew Markham said.

Also making figure skating history, Nathan Chen is the first ever to complete six quadruple  jumps, setting a new Olympic record. Along with Chen, Mirai Nagasu also set a figure skating record for being the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Red Gerard became the youngest U.S snowboarder ever to win an Olympic medal and the youngest snowboarding gold medalist of any country.

America sends its largest-ever team

In addition to all the individual records American Olympians are setting, Team USA also made Olympic history by having the largest ever Winter Olympic team of any country.

At the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic opening show, 91 countries came in by the Korean alphabet with America entering in the twenty eighth with the largest team in Winter Olympic history. Team USA had the biggest showing with 242 athletes, while Canada had the second biggest team, with 226 athletes, and Switzerland landed third with 171 athletes.

Norwegian Dominance

Sunday, Feb. 25, the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics ended with many countries like Norway dominating the medal count charts, but others, including the U.S., upset.

Norway’s final medal tally breaks the record for a single nation at the Winter Olympics, set by the U.S at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Norway led the medal count with a solid 39 medals in total, followed by Germany with 31, Canada with 29, and the US tailing with 23 medals.

Norway’s Marit Bjorgen led the medal charts with 2 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals, saying to Time Magazine that Norway has an advantage due to the climate of their country, free health care to keep them in shape, and their excellence in sports such as cross-country skiing.

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