The Winter Olympics is often regarded as a bit of a bridesmaid, trailing after the Summer Olympics, which gets all the attention. Of course, the winter Olympics are very popular, and athletes work just as hard to reach the pinnacle of their career; however, there is often much less hype, and you may find yourself half way through the tournament before hearing much about it.
Here at Active Physiotherapy we love all things sport, and we decided to pull together our very own guide detailing everything you need to know about this amazing event.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will open on 9th February, and the closing ceremony will be held on 25th February.
However, the games will actually open with their first tournaments on 8th February (featuring mixed doubles curling and some ski jumping events).
This year they are being held in PyeongChang, south Korea. South Korea were hosts for the 1988 Summer Olympics, but this is the first time the Republic have been in charge of a winter event.
For those of you not up on your South Korean geography, the city of PyeongChang is 80 miles east of Seoul, and 60 miles south of the demilitarised zone separating north and south Korea.
What sports are involved?
This year will see a total of 102 gold medal events, which is the most number ever contested before.
There are a wide number of different sports, with various disciplines within each, for example alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, and cross-country skiing.
There are some new entries for 2018, which include snow board big air, speed skating mass start, curling mixed doubles and the Alpine team event.
Every Olympic games has a mascot, and this year it’s the turn of Soohorang, a white tiger. The tiger has long been associated with Korean mythology and is a symbol for protection, strength and trust; qualities that they wish to associate with these games.
Will Russia be competing?
You may remember that in the early part of 2017, Russia was banned from competing in this games as a result of their “systemic manipulation” of the anti-doping rules. However, many athletes found this to be unfair, especially as they had not been involved in the doping scandal and were therefore being penalised.
As a result, some Russian athletes have been invited to take part in this years games, and will be doing so under the names “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. We have no idea what national anthem will play though if they win a medal!
Who to look out for
Team GB are hoping to beat their last Winter Olympics medal haul (one gold, one silver and two bronze) and their chances are looking good.
Elise Christie, short track speed skater, won three gold medals and a bronze in the World Championships last year, and there’s hope that she will become the first British athlete to win more than one medal at the winter games.
Lizzy Yarnold, who won gold in Sochi in 2014, is set to defend her title, whilst freestyle skiers James Wood and Isabel Atkin have a good chance of becoming the first Brits to win medals on skis.