View of the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FranÁois-Xavier MARITFRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images
Garfield Senior High School

Winter Olympics in South Korea recap

The Winter Olympics are international competitions for athletes around the world. The best names in sports represent their home country during this event held every four years. The official Winter Olympics tradition began on the Jan. 25, 1924, in the country of France. At the time, there were only 16 events held and 258 competitors.

Today, the 2018 Winter Olympics had competitors from 30 countries and 102 events took place in the games. As it’s popularity continues to rise, the future should hold an increase in both participating countries, competitors, and events.

Hosting the Winter Olympics Games should be considered a great privilege being that the host city could benefit significantly. For example the 2018 Winter Olympics was hosted by Pyeongchang, a county in South Korea. Because of South Korea’s economy and infrastructure, it was deemed capable of successfully hosting a Winter Olympics. Luckily for Pyeongchang, the Games will propel them forward because it allows them to invest in transportation, infrastructure, create jobs for the local economy, and bring along an influx of foreigner visitors.

Most surprisingly, the 2018 Winter Olympics brought together two unlikely acquaintances when Kim Jong Un allowed 22 North Korean athletes to compete with the South under a unified flag. Indeed the Winter Olympics brings out the best in people and countries.

Recently, the nation of South Korea has performed above average in the Games. Over the past three Winter Olympics they have racked up a total of 39 medals which puts them behind nine other countries (not including Russia) for the most medals. This year, one of five gold medals won by South Korea were won by Seung-Hoon Lee in the Speed Skating Mass Start men’s event. He finished over a Belgium athlete and an athlete from Netherland.

Another gold medalist was Choi Min-jeong who received the gold medal for the Short track speed skating in the 1,500 meter distance for women. She is also the current Olympic record holder of the 500 meter short track speed skating. A third gold medal was won by the 3,000 meter women relay team in short speed skating. It was great to see South Korea coming out competitive and taking home gold, despite domination by Norway and Germany.

One of the best — if not greatest — woman athlete to come from South Korea is Yuna Kim, a professional figure skater.  

According to the online biography on yunakim.com, her resume includes: several ISU Junior Grand Prix competitions won along with winning the 2006 Junior World Figure Skating Championships. Yuna would also compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and break her own world record and win gold. Her score of 228.56 is still the highest score by a woman figure skater, and is considered unbreakable.

In addition, she has been included in Time magazine’s 100 ‘Most Influential People in the World’ list and winning the ‘The Sportswoman of the Year Award’ presented by the Women’s Sports Foundation (yunakim.com). Yuna Kim also had the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

As the 2018 Winter Olympics come to an end, so long Pyeongchang and South Korea and we welcome Beijing as the host city in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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