Five Stories to Watch at the Winter Olympics
The 2018 Winter Olympics are just about upon us, which means it's time to start caring about sports you only care about every 4 years. And no, I'm not knocking the Winter Olympics. I love the Winter Olympics. But seriously, do you care about the luge or biathlon at any other time than the Winter Olympics?
Here are 5 stories to watch this year at the Olympics:
- Russia is sort of banned. If you haven't seen it, watch the documentary Icarus on Netflix. It's all about Russia and it's banned substances program. Well, this got Russia banned from this year's Winter Olympics. Twenty eight Russian athletes had their doping bans overturned and 169 athletes were deemed clean by the IOC. But they still won't compete for "Russia" in the Winter Olympics. They'll compete as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" and they won't march with a flag or get their national anthem if they win a gold medal.
- There are some new events this year. The Alpine Team Competition, which is a mixed-gender slalom tournament. Big-air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, and mass-start speed skating.
- German speedskater Claudia Pechstein, 45, will be the first athlete to compete in 7 Winter Olympics, and she's looking to become the oldest Winter Olympic medalist in an individual event.
- For the first time since 1994, hockey will not have NHL players in it. Brian Gionta, who is team USA's oldest player at 39, turned down offers from the NHL just so he could play in these games.
- Six countries will be making their Winter Olympics debut. Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore will all be competing in their first Winter Olympics.
And just in case you were wondering, it's gonna butt-cold over in South Korea. This will be the coldest winter Olympics since the 1994 Lillehammer games in Norway. One recent temperature reading at the Olympic Stadium was -8 F. Yes, that is a minus in front of that 8.