Warmth in the Cold: Unity in 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics

Image courtesy of: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/sports/olympics/opening-ceremony.html

By Silvia Marin

The Olympics began with an opening ceremony nothing short of spectacular this year in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Despite many political conflicts and agendas, there was a common theme of hope throughout the night, portrayed through choreography, music and the crowd’s overall vibe. Here are a few highlights from the night:

North and South Korea Unite. A month before the ceremony, North Korea decided that they too would be participating in the Olympics. They joined the South Korean team as a unified delegation and walked out together holding the unification flag. Although some see this as a step forward to seeing a unified Korea, others are against the idea, believing it will only add to the increasing unemployment rate.

Ode to the Korean Culture. The parade of nations, although lengthy, is one of the major events of the opening ceremony where all the countries march with their flags and showcase their athletes. This year, the order in which the countries walked out followed the Korean alphabet.

Gold Medalist Shani Davis misses parade. A proud Team USA walked out behind flag bearer Erin Hamlin, the first female American luger to medal, as the largest contingent of any country with 242 athletes, according to The New York Times. However, Shani Davis, two-time gold medalist in speed skating, was not present after showing his disapproval of the flag bearer decision process. He announced on Twitter that he and Hamlin had tied with four votes each and the deciding factor was a coin flip.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un impersonators. The crowd’s attention was quickly fixated on two impersonators dressed as the leaders from the United States and North Korea. The pair created an uproar among the media who quickly swarmed them. Ushers saw the commotion and escorted the two away from the crowd.

Tonga’s Beloved Shirtless Flag Bearer. Pita Taufatofua, the cross-country skier and only participant from his country, returned to the Olympics and is once again shirtless. He was received by a loud-welcoming crowd after entering with his flag and a bare torso, just as he did in the 2016 Olympics, with no regard to the cold weather.

Those at the games, although cold, continue to be excited for the following weeks – and the same attitude is seen at the Mount. Many are looking forward to competitions like snowboarding, ice skating and the luge, but we also asked students what competitions they wish they could watch. Many of the responses were genius, and we’re ready to see them at the next Winter Olympics. Here are a few of them:

Alberto Gilman: Dog Sledding

Tanner Tait: Chess

Cam Muschio: Competitive Eating

Marissa Rosa: Competitive Couponing

Chris Introcaso: Competitive Obstacle Courses