Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Update (Day 2)

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Every Olympics attempts to have a theme that the organizers want to highlight and the Pyeongchang games are no different.

Except this time the theme means a little more especially to the region that is hosting the games.

This year the Olympics are aiming to be the most peaceful games ever and for Korea that is an extremely important theme.

The Republic of Korea has been one of the most unstable places in the world right now as they are right next to a country that has threatened nuclear war multiple times.

North Korea has been the centre of attention on the political front for years as they continue to test their missile capabilities directly off of the coast of South Korea and Japan.

Things have only gotten worse with President Donald Trump looking to antagonize Kim Jong Un leading to a lot of fear in the region.

That has been a serious issue in Asia and it is a major reason why the organizing committee in Pyeongchang are looking to use the power of sport to help.

Sports are often looked at as not being too important in the grand scheme of things and in reality, they aren’t that important.

Winning an Olympic medal can change everything for an athlete but it doesn’t really change much when it comes to the bigger world.

For that reason, many people believe that sports are just a leisure activity that can’t have much power other than being happy or annoyed that your team or favourite athlete wins or loses.

That isn’t always the case though as there is power in sports that can change things and although it won’t solve the problems the Pyeongchang committee is hoping to make some progress.

That is why the committee looked to make some progress on the issues between North and South Korea by allowing North Korea to participate.

The North Koreans didn’t necessarily have a number of athletes to bring to the Olympics but they did have a pairs figure skating team that qualified.

The North Korean officials failed to provide the proper documentation to allow their athletes to participate though and so they were not allowed into the Olympics.

That was until the committee lobbied to allow them in despite their issues in submitting the proper documentation.

With the support of the IOC, the figure skaters were allowed into the Olympics and they would cross the demilitarized zone into South Korea to participate.

That crossing would be a big moment for both countries as it would be one of the rare times that North Koreans were allowed to freely enter South Korea.

It was going to be a big moment for the Olympics when they crossed that zone and it was seen as a step by some.

A bigger step might have been the fact that members of the North Korean women’s hockey team were allowed to participate as well.wolympic-sidebarolympics-sidebar

Although the North Korean hockey team didn’t qualify for the Olympics a few members were welcomed into the South Korean team.

They would play as a unified Korean team in one of the biggest symbolic gestures of the games.

For the first time members of both countries would be competing together with a common goal and spending time together.

They are a part of a team and they will suspend more time with each other than any North or South Koreans have in years.

Of course, this is not going to be the solution to the issues between the two countries and the freedom is not entirely there.

Every North Korean athlete is under strict condition and surveillance as they are unable to go anywhere without their security.

That might not make things as great as the North Koreans are not going to be exposed to the freedom held by South Koreans.

Still, this is more of a gesture from South Korea to North Korea in hopes that it can be the start of something.

It is an attempt to use one of the biggest stages in the world of sports to try to prove that these two sides can work together.

It might not amount to anything and there are plenty of people who believe it is a false warmth from North Korea and some that don’t want to see them in the Olympics at all.

Still, this is a step and for many including the organizing committee of the Olympics as they try to use sports as a way to open the door.


The Canadian Story:

The Comeback Completed

The Canadians had a great day in Day 2 as they got their first medals but none was more satisfying than the bronze medal of Mark McMorris. He earned his second Olympic medal but this time was only a year removed from an accident that threatened his career and his life. That devastating crash had his entire career in doubt but just a year later he was back winning medals.

Another Freestyle Medal

Freestyle events have been good to the Canadians in the last few Olympics and that is continuing this time around. The Women’s mogul event featured a number of Canadians all looking to get a medal but only one was able to find the podium. Justine Dufour-Lapointe earned a silver medal, her second Olympic medal after winning gold in 2014.

Back on the Podium

Speed Skating was always a favourite sport for Canadians with many Winter Olympic legends coming from the track. Lately, though the Canadians have struggled to find the podium while the Netherlands have taken over entirely. This year the Canadians have a number of athletes that could win and Ted-Jan Bloemen made good on his promise taking a silver medal.

Leading the Pack

After five programs team Canada is looking good in the Team Figure Skating competition sitting in first place and only having three more events to go. In Day 2 Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took home first in the ice dance while the pair of Meghan Duhamel and Eric Radford took first in their free program helping the team to a good lead over the Olympic Athletes from Russia.

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