Winter Olympics 2018: Highlights, history and updates on this sports extravaganza!



Sports and games have always been an integral component of our life. Whether, it may be in the form of childhood games and sports that we enjoyed such as basketball, football, cricket, swimming or cycling to the time where we grew up having an inclination towards any one or few of the sports. Even today, although we may not always have the time to play we do enjoy watching our favorite games or reading about our favorite sport. The recent buzz today is about the Winter Olympics.

Before we move on to explore the event, let us take a quick look at the origin of the Olympic Games. The creation of the games is inspired by the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia in Greece, leading to the first modern games in Athens in 1896.

There are widely two editions of the Olympics that is- Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympics, as the name suggests, are held particularly in the winter season. The games played are specific to this kind of season and are also called as winter sports. Some of the most popular winter sports are ice-skating, figure skating, ice hockey, snowboarding, skiing, etc. Summer Olympics are the Olympic Games which are principally held in the summer season. The games and sporting events organized at the Summer Olympics are totally in contrast to the ones held at Winter Olympics. These events include the likes of athletics, football, basketball, swimming, weightlifting, hockey, volleyball, badminton, gymnastics, etc.

The 2018 Winter Olympics is an international multi-sport event which is held in Pyeongchang, South Korea from the 9th to 25th of February. Pyeongchang was selected as the host city in July 2011, during the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Durban, South Africa. It marks the first time that South Korea has hosted the Winter Olympics, and the second Olympics held in the country, the first being the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The 2018 Winter Olympics features 102 events in 15 sports, making it the first Winter Olympics to surpass 100 medal events.

The lead up to the games was the growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. However, the two countries have agreed to march together during the opening ceremony and to field a unified women’s hockey team.

The theme of the opening ceremony centered around peace with the host nation marching side by side under the Korean Unification flag in a powerful gesture of peace, friendship, and togetherness. The countdown began with the ancient Bell of Peace which according to the legend calmed the waves and brought peace to the land of Korea it also included five children from rural Gangwon province leading the ceremony and included animals, nature and a cast of 2,000.

 

However, we are always more curious to know what is the participation of India in the Winter Olympics. The Indian team consists of two male athletes competing in two sports i.e. cross-country skiing and luge. Representing India in cross country skiing is Jagdish Singh and Shiva Keshavan qualifying for his sixth Winter Olympics in luge. Let’s quickly take a peek at what these sports actually are.

Luge is the French word for ‘sled’ and was developed as a sport in Switzerland. It involves competitors lying on their backs on a tiny sled with their feet stretched out in front of them, and racing down an icy track at speeds in the range of 140 km/h, without brakes. There is singles as well as a pairs event.

Cross-country skiing is the oldest type of skiing which has emerged from the need to travel over snow-covered terrain and developed towards the end of the 19th Century. Cross-country skiing is about gliding across a snow-covered field on skis in the shortest possible time frame. The course is composed of three equal segments of uphill, level, and downhill fields and athletes must employ classic or skate skiing techniques.

To know more about the opening ceremony:

https://www.olympic.org/news/pyeongchang-2018-welcomes-the-world-with-a-message-of-peace-and-hope

To know more about the other Olympic sports:

http://www.bbc.com/sport/winter-olympics/sports

Here was just a quick list of the different things that you need to look out for at the Winter Olympics, so let us enjoy this amazing sporting event taking place over the next 3 weeks and cheer on our country.

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