Winter Olympics take place in South Korea

The 2018 Winter Olympics opened on Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Over 2,000 athletes from 92 different nations will compete in 102 events that cover 15 sports. Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore are making their Olympic debut.

Additionally, North Korea and South Korea are competing under a unified flag and with a united women’s hockey team. After the Russia Olympic Committee's suspension in December, Russian athletes who qualified for the Olympics under a neutral flag are referred to as Olympic Athletes of Russia (OAR). If an athlete from OAR wins a gold medal, the Olympic anthem will be played.

Although the Olympics have been a symbol of unification throughout the world, it is not unusual for controversy to spark.

The increasing tensions between North and South Korea caused some countries to consider not attending the games. However, the countries did not feel like the safety of their athletes was compromised and did not pull out of the games. Kim Yo-jung, the sister of Kim Jong-un, joined South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Opening Ceremonies. This was the first time a member of the Kim dynasty visited South Korea since the Korean War.

The United States has already reached several milestones during the first few days of the games.

Red Gerard, a 17-year-old snowboarder, won the first gold medal for the United States in slopestyle with a score of 87.16. Gerard was rumored to have overslept, almost missing his event, and also lost his jacket, later borrowing one from a teammate.

Another snowboarder, Chloe Kim, made history by becoming the youngest woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding during the Olympics. Shaun White, an Olympic veteran, won the United States’ 100th gold medal in the halfpipe event. This was White’s third gold medal, and he is the first man to win medals in three different Olympic games. White previously competed in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.

The Olympics will conclude on Feb. 25 and are aired on NBC and online.

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