Cue the Olympic Anthem: PyeongChang 2018
Who's ready for some...OLYMPICS!! It's almost time for the Winter Games and as usual, I am getting amped up. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to!
NEW COUNTRIESThere will be six countries participating for the first time in these Winter Games: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore. If you've noticed a trend, it's likely the same one I noticed- many of these newbies are from warmer climates. Climate poses a challenge but does not create an insurmountable hurdle for countries to participate. Let's throw Jamaica in as well since they will be sending a women's bobsled team for the first time; this will be 30 years since the (in)famous men's bobsled team of the 1988 Calgary Games (and of Cool Runnings fame). One country that we will not see (at least under their own flag) is Russia; Russian athletes who have not used steroids may still compete under the independent flag.
Though the Games will largely look the same to the casual observer, a few sports are making their debut. We can look forward to Big Air Snowboarding, Freestyle Skiing, Mass Start Speed Skating, and Mixed Doubles Curling. I'm a little frightened by the prospect of Mass Start Speed Skating (some have attributed it to a NASCAR style race) but it should be an interesting new way to compete. I'm all for more mixed sports as well, so curling will be a new favorite!
NORWAY'S CURLING PANTS
I've written about these men before, and I'll write about them again. The pants (and suit jackets!) get better every year.
Leslie Jones is my Olympic spirit animal and the person whom I am living through vicariously as I cannot afford to attend the Olympics this year. She embodies the true excitement that comes with the Games!
|NY Daily News|
SOUTH KOREA'S PLACE ON THE WORLD STAGE
South Korea last hosted the Games in 1988 in Seoul. The world feels like a different place, but still has echoes of what it must have been like to be in a world ruled by Soviets vs US. North and South Korea were at odds then and still are now, and competing together at the Games will likely not change that. What will be the legacy of these Games? Will we start to see South Korea as their own entity, separate from their neighbors to the north? Will we see lots of k-pop in the Opening Ceremonies? To the last, I hope we do, as well as see cultural traditions. There's so much to know about this country that seems more than a world away from me here in the US.
Athletes to Follow
How Many Countries Are Competing in the Winter Olympics?
Bold Predictions About Winners
Natalie Portman's SNL Opening Monologue (Invaded by the Olympics)