The Olympics only happens once every four -- err... two -- years. And today marks the opening ceremonies to yet another Olympiad, the 23rd Winter Games, in PyeongChang, South Korea. Just ahead of the pageantry, goodwill, and competition WBOB wishes to highlight the most compelling stories to follow throughout the next 16 days of sport.
Read 5 Compelling Olympic Storylines to Follow this February Below!
After five straight Olympiad which saw NHL level professional hockey players compete for the gold, the top athletes in the sport will not be able to participate in 2018. After years of players leaving their respective NHL teams in the regular season, the league wanted to prevent those breaks from happening in the future.
It’s important to remember that professional sporting leagues are business, who want to make money. It’s also important to remember Team USA defeated the Soviets with amateurs in 1980.
In 990WBOB’s home state of Rhode Island, we know how to tolerate the cold. Three winter olympians have ties to universities right here in the Ocean State. Ty Walker, a student at Brown, will be competing in her second Olympic Games as a slope-style snowboarder. Evan Weinstock, a Brown graduate, will be competing in the men’s bobsledding competition. Lauren Gibbs, another Brown alum, will be competing in bobsledding on the women’s side. WBOB was able to speak with Lauren before she arrived in PyeongChang.
There will be four new events to watch in the 2018 South Korean Winter Games. Big Air in snowboarding, Mass Start in speed skating, Mixed Doubles in curling, and a Team Skiing event were the additions ratified by the International Olympic Committee executive board. That means more athletes will be available to be drafted onto your Olympic Fantasy Curling team.
The Great White Dope
The last time the Winter Olympics took place, Sochi, Russia, served as the host city. However, the biggest story to come out of the Russian Olympics wasn’t about a medal. It was about cheating.
And lots of it.
After a doping scandal, the country will not be fielding an Olympic team this time around, although, some of the athletes will be permitted to play independently.
North and South will Go East to West
As the South Koreans welcome everyone into their nation for a few weeks, their noisy next store neighbor will be off of house arrest, with the North Koreans marching alongside their democratic counterparts. With the unity between the Koreas occuring in Korea, the temporary peace in athleticism could lead to less tension in political affairs.
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