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2018 Winter Olympic Games: A celebration for young and old alike

Graphic+Courtesy+of+Amy+Kang
Graphic Courtesy of Amy Kang

Graphic Courtesy of Amy Kang

Graphic Courtesy of Amy Kang

Matthew Conway, Staff Writer

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The 2018 Winter Olympic Games have concluded, but it was a memorable spectacle for everyone watching, both ‘in person’ and on TV. It was an event of firsts, poor performances and records set left and right.

An inspirational opening ceremony filled with Korean culture kicked off the Olympics, which began on Friday, Feb. 9. The ceremony’s message centered on peace, passion, harmony, and convergence, and five children were used to symbolize the five Olympic rings and the five elements that are believed to make up the Earth. Each child stood for one element; earth, metal, wood, water, and fire. Also, a stadium was built specially for the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies (PyeongChang Olympic Stadium) and torn down immediately afterward.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers from Pyeongchang 2018.

Winners

Redmond Gerard:

The third-youngest-ever gold medalist in the Winter Games, Gerard became the first gold medalist born in the 2000s.

Lindsey Vonn:

These were Vonn’s last Olympics as an athlete, and the U.S. bid farewell to her. The veteran skier, who has the highest super ranking of any skier, man or woman, just finished competing in her fifth Olympics, an impressive feat.

Shaun White:

White’s inspirational comeback stole headlines in Pyeongchang. White earned his third career gold medal after recovering from stitches suffered during a failed run in October.

Chloe Kim:

Her achievements at the age of just 17 captivated millions around the world.

U.S. women’s hockey team:

Their victory enthralled millions of young female hockey players in America and even led to a guest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and an appearance at a Tampa Bay Lightning game.

USA curling team:

Knocking off Sweden, the 2018 curling team won America’s first-ever gold medal in curling.

Different countries:

Thirty-seven American athletes competed under flags of other countries.

New additions:

Some additions to the Games included big air snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing.

New countries:

The countries of Nigeria, Ecuador, Kosovo, Singapore, Eritrea and Malaysia all made their Winter Olympic debuts. On Tuesday, February 20, the Nigerian bobsled team, comprised of Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere, became the first Olympic bobsled team in history to represent an African nation.

More events:

This was the first Winter Olympics to surpass 100 medal events, with 102 total.

Leaders:

Norway led the group in medals with 39 overall, including a tie for first with 14 gold. Individual gold medalists representing the United States included Gerard, Jamie Anderson, Kim, White, Mikaela Shiffrin, and David Wise.

Losers

America’s finish:

The U.S. finished fourth in the total medal tally. They were unable to collect even ten medals, either gold, silver, or bronze, instead forced to settle for nine golds, eight silvers, and six bronze. The U.S. nabbed only two medals in figure skating, a poor outcome.

TV ratings:

Ratings for this year’s Olympics decreased from 2014 and were the worst ever for any Winter Games, as primetime coverage drew a combined 13.0 rating, yet NBC still hauled in a record $920 million in national ad sales.

Other controversies:

Some countries threatened to skip the Games due to the 2017-18 Korean missile crisis. Also, a number of Russian athletes were involved in an illegal doping controversy and were simply referred to as “the Olympic athletes from Russia.” Russia was not awarded any medals and no Russian officials were allowed at the Games.

Ending celebration:

The Games ended on Sunday, Feb. 25. Another great Olympics is in the books, and the world will need to wait another four years for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

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2018 Winter Olympic Games: A celebration for young and old alike