2018 Winter Olympics set to happen Feb.9th

Rosa Maldonado, Reporter

Snowboarding,skiing,hockey,and figure skating are not just some fun winter sports; these are some Winter Olympic games athletes look forward to. Over 100 countries will participate in this year’s games in Bokwang Phoenix Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea starting Feb. 9, the night of the opening ceremonies. NBC will be broadcasting the games live on TV and online , though there will be a time difference.

“I am planning to watch the snowboarding part of the Olympics on TV,” Fredy Carrillo (10) said. For snowboarding fans like Carillo, an athlete to watch is young Chloe Kim, a 17-year-old Korean American snowboarding champion competing for Team USA.The US snowboarding team has been the most dominant strength in the snowboarding world. Ever since snowboarding has been added to the Olympic program, 24 medals have been earned by the US., and this young snowboarding master has a good chance of earning some more. She is currently ranked to be one of the third best snowboarders in the world at the half pipe. In the year 2015, she was the youngest to ever win gold at the X games. She started off at four years old trying to learn how to snowboard in a teaching group with a $25 snowboard her dad bought her bought off of ebay. At age six she had already entered her first contest, and a year later she had won two gold medals and three silver medals. She actually placed high enough to earn a spot at the last Olympics in 2014, but she was not allowed to compete since she was only 13, and Olympic athletes have to be at least 15 to be eligible.

Gus Kenworthy is coming back for the second year in Olympic skiing. This event is wheen skaters balance themselves on ice skates and sprint 400-meters. Twenty-four athletes will be participating in the new 2018 event of speed skating. They will all start out the 16 laps at the same time. After just 4 months on ice, Erin Jackson became a first time Olympian and is currently improving each time she steps on the ice.

Another popular sport to watch is hockey. The US men’s hockey team has won two gold medals, eight silver medals, and one bronze medal during the 21 Olympic games they have participate in since 1920, and the most recent medal won was in 2010. This year twelve nations will compete in the men’s tournament. In the women’s tournament eight nations will compete, having won gold or silver medals in every major tournament except for the 2006 winter olympics when they won a bronze medal instead.

Figure skating is another one of the most popular games in the Winter Olympics. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are the first man and women to carry the Canadian flag into the opening of the Olympic games. “Figure skating is one of the most fascinating events in the Winter Olympics, I just love the way people have the ability to balance themselves on such small blades and manage to perform so beautifully ” Taylor Eldridge (9) said. This year, Nathan Chen at age 18, is predicted to be one of the United States’ major gold medal winners in the figure skating games. As the recent winner of the National Championships, he is expected to go through the games with a high level of maturity.

Speed demons may enjoy watching the speed skating, which first appeared in 1924 in the Olympic games. The events followed the European system, which lead to the creation of short-track speed skating. Maame Biney, at age 17, is competing in the track speed skating. She is the second African-born athlete to represent the U.S. winter olympics. She didn’t know what the skating word ment until age six when she was enrolled in skating lessons, the 2018 winter games will be Biney’s first time in the olympics.

The events will be held at the Bokwang Phoenix Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Tensions between North Korea and the United States have been rising because of the idea that USA Winter Olympic teams should not be participating in the 2018 games.“I think everyone should participate,” Jenna Avila-Taylor (9) said. There are some concerns about sending some of the Russian athletes to participate in south Korea.The concerns about sending some athletes resulted into having a nuclear war between South Korea and the US.

Korea will be banning Russia from the games due to doping. Doping is the use of illegal steroids to increase the athletic performance in an athlete. In the Olympic games there is an anti-doping rule, and Russia was not following the rules; therefore, as punishment the IOC is enforcing the anti-doping issue and will not let Russia participate this year. “I think it’s fair to ban them because it’s like cheating,” Alex Guzman (10) said. Individual Russian’s may participate in February when they meet guidelines and are approved by the panel, but they will not be able to wear the Russian flag nor hear the Russian anthem if they medal. The Russian Olympic committee is still suspended for the year.