2018 Winter Olympics Preview
With opening ceremonies set to begin Feb. 9, team USA will be coming in strong with the largest Winter Olympic team to date, made up of 242 athletes. The team is extremely diverse this year with six seventeen year-olds, one thirty-nine year-old, seven sets of siblings, ten African-Americans, eleven Asian-Americans, two openly gay male athletes, and a total of thirty-one states represented. The Games consist of fifteen different events including skiing, ice skating, curling, and ice hockey. The intense competitions will all take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea and will last for two weeks.
There are many seasoned Olympians on team USA who are prepared to add even more medals to their collections. Maddie Bowman and David Wise both won medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics for the ski halfpipe and are definitely athletes to watch this year. Fan favorite Lindsey Vonn is looking to redeem herself on the ski slopes this year, after being unable to compete at Sochi due to injury. Another favorite is eighteen-year-old figure skater Nathan Chen, whom many expect to win gold this year based on his executions of unbelievable jumps. When you tune into snowboarding, be sure to look out for newcomer Chloe Kim. Big wins at the Winter X Games make her a prospect Olympic medalist. She even met the qualifications for the Sochi team but was only thirteen at the time, so Pyeongchang will be her first Olympics. Finally, Lowell Bailey shows promise to win Team USA’s first Olympic medal in the biathlon. He won gold in the International Biathlon Union World Championships and will be an exciting athlete to see compete this month.
Apex High School students are eager for the 2018 Games to begin, and many expressed their viewing preferences. Out of all the Winter Olympic sports, AHS students are most excited to watch figure skating and ice hockey. Although it would be incredible to witness the competitions in Pyeongchang, most people watch the Olympics from home on TV. Freshman Hishi Ulak mentioned that if she got tickets to the Winter Olympics, she would be most excited to watch the professional ice hockey games. She explained, “That would be my top choice because of how swiftly they move on the ice, and I’ve never watched a hockey game in person.” Hockey is definitely an intense sport to watch, and hopefully Team USA will bring home the gold this year.
Athletes are gearing up to show the world what the endless years of hard work and dedication to their sport have been leading up to. Some are returning to the Olympics for the fifth time, others making their first debut, but all with one goal in mind: bringing home the medals for Team USA. It is sure to be a thrilling couple of weeks, so be sure to tune in to your favorite events, and keep an eye out for many remarkable athletes. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be broadcasted on NBC TV and online. Enjoy the Games!