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Opening ceremonies kick off 2018 Winter Olympics

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Opening ceremonies kick off 2018 Winter Olympics

Sydney Thompson, Staff Writer

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Everyone was anxious as the fireworks started and the stadium was lit.

The start of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games had commenced as teams began to parade into the arena to represent their countries.

The number of athletes ranged from 242 to as few as one chosen to represent their nation. Greece entered the arena first, as it was written into the bylaws that Greece go first to honor the notion that the Olympic sports would not exist without the Ancient Greeks.

To welcome the foreign teams into their country, Korea had entered last. United under one flag, the North and South Korean people signified the end of the opening ceremonies.

Each nation represented in the Winter Olympics brought a unique perspective to what the games meant; to some it meant competing for another gold medal, while others were being represented for the very first time in Winter Olympic history.

Wu Meng, a 15-year-old Chinese skier, competed in the Ski Halfpipe. Meng is the youngest athlete registered to compete in PyeongChang. Canada was represented by 51-year-old, Cheryl Bernard, who competed in Curling, the oldest athlete registered. The thirty-six-year gap between the youngest and oldest athlete shows that passion for a sport can be both mastered early in life and learn even more over time.

Countries receiving the least amount of delegations to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics included: Ghana, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Madagascar, Malta, Bermuda, San Marino, Singapore, Ecuador, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Cyprus, and Azerbaijan. Each country brought only one athlete.

The United States, on the other hand, had the largest delegation in Winter Olympics history, sending all 242 athletes to South Korea. 103 of those athletes were returning Olympians, with the entirety of Team USA competing in every discipline of the Olympic Games.

At AIC, the students mused on the high points and low points of the games.

Adrianne Jackson confessed that her favorite activity was watching figure skating.

“I love how intricate the movements are and the athleticism of the skater. They make the moves look so effortless, like they’re flying on the ice. It looks so cool,” Jackson said.

Was she herself an ice skater?

“I went once – that was enough,” she said.

For some, snowboarding was the favorite. Watching the athletes fly through the air, knowing how to spin themselves properly, and be able to land back on their feet is super impressive.

Shaun White did a great job on the half-pipe and deserved another gold medal. There’s something about the way he snowboards that shows that he really loves what he does.

Peta-Gaye Rickets weighed in on the sport that excites her when watching the Olympics – the luge.

“Watching the luge is always exciting. I always thought that trying ‘to luge’ would be fun, but laying on my back, going 87 miles per hour and not seeing the track completely scares me,” Rickets said. Luge is something that always impresses me, and I’ll leave it to the professionals.”

Welcoming Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, helped create the representation of ninety-two countries celebrating worldly competition.

It was truly inspiring watching the two Korean countries come together as one nation in competing for Olympic medals.

Beijing will be welcoming Olympians in 2022 to compete in the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, hopefully with as much, or more, unity that was brought together by the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

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Opening ceremonies kick off 2018 Winter Olympics