Today marks the beginning of the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics with athletes gathering in the South Korean province of Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony before the action gets underway. The build-up to the Games has made many headlines from the continuation of the Russian doping scandal to the tension between North and South Korea being slightly relieved by the prospect of the Games.
There are over two weeks of winter sporting action ahead of us with Great Britain hoping they can beat their tally of four medals from the last Games in Sochi. If they are to do this it would represent Britain’s most successful winter Olympics of all time but they have already suffered a blow before the Games has even begun.
Snowboard star Katie Ormerod suffered a cruel blow when she was ruled out of the entire Games this week after breaking her heel in two places. The 20-year-old had suffered a minor wrist fracture earlier in the week but still hoped she could compete until injuring her foot in practice. Katie was expected to be in contention for a medal in PyeongChang but will now have to wait four years for her next shot at the Olympics.
At this morning’s opening ceremony, the British flag will be carried by 2014’s skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold MBE who has high hopes of becoming the first ever British star to win back to back gold medals at the Games. She was selected to carry the flag by her fellow athletes but all eyes at this year’s opening ceremony is sure to be on the hosts.
After many meetings and negotiations, it was announced that both Korean nations will march together under a ‘unified Korea’ flag at the Games something they have not done for over a decade. With the tensions between the two counties over recent years well documented, this public sign of unity is a big step and the women’s ice-hockey team will also compete under the unified Korean flag.
Following the opening ceremony, day one will see Great Britain’s first big name athlete take to the ice with short-track speed skater Elise Christie hoping to earn the team’s first medal.
Spectators at the Games will certainly need to wrap up warm with the coldest winter Olympics on record predicted. Heat pads and blankets are on offer to people who are set to brave the cold, as temperatures are predicted to plunge to as low as -25C°. This will break the record set at Norway’s Lillehammer in 1994.
With plenty of winter sporting action ahead of us, the Winter Olympics 2018 is sure to be a fantastic occasion. Keep up-to-date with all the latest goings on at the Games with Champions Olympic Speakers. As well as posting the latest news from PyeongChang, you can also book one of our fantastic Olympic speakers for your next event. For more information call +44 1509 85 29 27 or complete the online form.
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