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A guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics

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Calvin Herion

More stories from Calvin Herion

March 23, 2018
March 23, 2018

On Friday, Feb. 9,  the Winter Olympics will begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea. From snowboarding to skiing, the Winter Games will be played after the previous competition in Sochi.

With 102 events scheduled across 15 disciplines,  it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on.  Therefore,  consider this a guide to help anyone discover what to look forward to.

The men’s ice hockey teams will look different this year, as the NHL is banning all players from participating.  As such, the American teams will feature retired players along with those participating in the minor leagues, like the AHL. Older players like retired NHL player Brian Gionta, who is serving as team captain, will make up the bulk of the roster.

The women are essentially keeping the same core roster they used four years when they snagged silver in Sochi. Six of the ten players returning from Sochi also participated in Vancouver eight years ago.  This includes the team captain, Meghan Duggan.

Ice skating will feature gold medal favorite Nathan Chen in the men’s category and breakout rookie Bradie Tennell for the women’s.  Ashley Wagner made headlines for complaining and whining about not making the team after a distant fourth place finish in the Olympic Trials.  Ice dancing pairs will include brother-sister duo Maia and Alex Shibutani, one of seven siblings competing together.

In snowboarding,  Shaun White will again be competing in his fourth Olympic appearance.  He is best remembered for winning the gold medal twice in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.  Another athlete to watch is Jamie Anderson  who won the women’s snowboarding slopestyle in Sochi.

The women are taking a risk in curling  where the entire five member team will be made up of  Olympic rookies. Four-time Olympian John Shuster is leading the men.  After being rejected in Vancouver,  mixed doubles curling will be making its Olympic debut.

Alpine skiing will be highlighted by Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin. Vonn is the most decorated female Alpine ski racer in World Cup history,  while Shiffrin was the youngest athlete to win gold in the slalom competition.

But this Olympics is not without controversy and drama.  The Russian doping scandal in the 2014 Olympics has led to the banning of the country in competing this year.  Athletes from Russia can still participate, however,  under the name “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

South Korea’s proximity to North Korea has been another spot of contention.  It was recently announced that both countries would share a combined Korean hockey.  South Korean president Moon Jae-in is hoping for lighter tensions following the games.

For more Olympic news and information,  visit http://www.nbcolympics.com/ for athlete bios and a complete schedule of the games.

 On a final note, longtime Olympic broadcaster Bob Costas will be succeeded by Mike Tirico for Olympic coverage.  Meanwhile,  former “Today” co-host Katie Couric will be joining Tirico for the Opening Ceremonies.

The 2018 Olympics will be broadcast live Feb. 8-25 on NBC and associated networks.  Ice skating begins this Thursday,  and coverage of the Opening Ceremonies begins at 7:00 pm CT.  Due to the time differences,  events and Olympic ceremonies will be taped prior to the actual television broadcast.

 

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A guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics