Medals, Snow, and Olympics

2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics


Getty Images

The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

Janet Han, Photojournalist

This year, unity, innovation, and athletic ability came together for the spectacular 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea, from February 9th to February 25, they brought together an entire world of top-notch athletes in a breathtaking battle for gold.

A grand total of 2,922 athletes from 92 nations competed at the Winter Olympics, participating in over a hundred different events. The games started with the opening ceremony on February 9th. Attendees included Moon Jae-in, the South Korean President, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean Kim Jong Un, and Mike Pence, the US Vice President (CNN). Peace, harmony, and unity were all beautifully displayed during the ceremony, titled “Peace in Motion”, and featured five children symbolizing both the five elements and the Olympic rings.

A series of seamless transitions between graphics and reality created a perfect fairytale about the children, in which they embarked on a journey through time led by Soohorang, the official mascot of the games. Soohorang, a white tiger, is considered a guardian and protector of peace, which the children further advocated for by releasing a white dove at the end of the ceremony (Huffington Post). This was followed by each country’s athletes marching out in order, each proudly displaying their flag in the classic Olympic tradition. Last but not least, Yuna Kim, one of South Korea’s most noted figure skaters, lit the torch to mark the beginning of the Winter Olympics.

All of these athletes proved how dedicated and talented they were during their respective events, but of course, the gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to only the best. The competition was fierce, with athletes fighting for the coveted metals as the world watched closely. Once all was said and done, the top ten countries were:

  1. Norway, 37 medals
  2. Germany, 26 medals
  3. Canada, 27 medals
  4. USA, 21 medals
  5. Netherlands, 18 medals
  6. Sweden, 11 medals
  7. France, 15 medals
  8. Austria, 13 medals
  9. South Korea, 12 medals
  10. Switzerland, 13 medals

(The Guardian)

Team USA brought back 21 medals, 8 gold, 7 silver, and 6 bronze.

Gold medalists:

  • Jamie Anderson in the women’s snowboard slopestyle
  • Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall in women’s cross-country skiing
  • Red Gerard in the men’s snowboard slopestyle
  • Chloe Kim in the women’s snowboard halfpipe
  • Mikaela Shiffrin in the women’s giant slalom
  • David Wise in the men’s halfpipe
  • Shaun White in men’s snowboard halfpipe
  • Women’s hockey
  • Men’s curling

(Fox News)

For many, it seemed that the games ended all too soon. But eventually the winners collected their medals and the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics came to an end. Of course, it certainly ended with a bang- the closing ceremony providing a sharp contrast to the opening ceremony by showcasing the modernity of South Korea. The nation’s number one boy group, EXO, and one of their most popular female acts, CL, showcased the growing phenomenon of K-Pop with impressive performances. Sarah Chen (10) described the performances as

“stunning” and “even better than [she] expected.”

They were part of a larger theme that connected back to the original five children, who returned for the end of their journey. Riding on a magical boat, they found their way into the future- each growing up to live and work in a dramatically different, technologically advanced world. Then the spotlight was turned to Beijing, China, with adorable LED pandas and fascinating special effects that provided a preview of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.