The Winter Olympics come to a close
The 2018 Olympic Games came to a close on February 25, meaning that fans will have to wait another four years to get their fix of international curling, bobsledding, biathlons and other sports you never knew you loved.
The closing ceremony marked the official ending of the Winter Games. This consisted of a slew of extravagant visuals in the form of light shows, dances, and of course, fireworks. The ceremony was also characterized by a solid amount of K-Pop, with performances by CL and boyband Exo. Eventually, the Olympic Flame was extinguished, and was followed by somewhat of a rave when two DJ’s came out to play music.
The Olympics took place over the course of 16 days, starting on February 9. During this time, Norway managed to earn 39 medals, securing them the highest medal count of any country. Out of these, Norwegian athletes won 14 gold medals, 14 silver medals, and 11 bronze medals.
Providing five of these medals for her country, was 37 year old cross country skier Marit Bjorgen. Bjorgen became the most decorated individual athlete of 2018, earning her fifth medal of the Games in the last event.
Bjorgen won gold in the Women’s 4 x 5km Cross Country Skiing Relay and Women’s 30km Mass Start Classic. She also earned a silver medal in the Women’s 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon, and bronze in the Women’s 10km Free and Women’s Team Sprint Free Final. Bjorgen now holds 15 total medals in her comprehensive Olympic career.
Following Norway in medal count was Germany, with a cumulation of 31 medals. These consisted of 14 gold medals, 10 silver medals and seven bronze medals. Canada placed with the third highest amount. They totaled 29 medals consisting of 11 gold medals, eight silver medals and 10 bronze medals.
Although these three countries earned the highest total number of medals, notable achievements were also made with outstanding individual performances representing countries from all over the world.
French athlete, Martin Fourcade took gold in the Men’s 12.5km Biathlon Pursuit, Men’s 15km Biathlon Mass Start, and 2x6km Women + 2×7.5km Men Mixed Biathlon Relay. These wins were especially meaningful for France, as his performances earned him the title of the most decorated Olympic athlete in the country’s history.
The United States Women’s Team also had an exciting win when they took the gold medal in hockey for the first time since 1998. In this match, they defeated Canada’s team 3-2, who had been defending their gold title for the past five Olympic Games.
The United States also won their first ever Olympic curling tournament. The team `consisted of underdogs John Schuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner, who defeated Sweden’s top-ranked team with a final score of 10-7.
Even though Russia was barred from participating in the Olympics due to a doping scandal, individual athletes were still allowed to compete unattached from the country as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” One of such athletes was Alina Zagitova. At the age of only 15 years old, Zagitova won a gold medal in Ladies Single Skating as well as a silver medal in the figure skating team event.
In addition to outstanding performances, some Olympic teams faced some unexpected turbulence, causing even more stress for athletes in an already intense environment. Other than the outstanding performances, the 2018 Winter Olympics made for a lively watch due to some unexpected events.
Jamaica’s first ever women’s bobsleigh team faced anxiety when their coach, Sandra Kiriasis, quit shortly before the team was scheduled to compete, taking their sled along with her. The team, comprised of Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell, was able to secure a sled and compete when a Jamaican beer company, Red Stripe, offered to buy them a new sled.
With so much sensation between the ceremonies, record-breaking performances and inevitable drama, it makes sense that the Winter Olympics can only come around once every four years. Luckily, fans only have to wait two years for the next Summer Olympics in 2020, set to take place in Tokyo.
At least this gives just enough time to feel competent again before having your confidence destroyed by 17 year olds breaking world records as you sit on your couch.