5 Big Stories to Watch during a Winter Olympics

Think you’re prepared for a 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang? The Winter Games are set to start this Friday, Feb. 9, with the opening ceremonyand there’s a lot some-more to it than skiing stars, crazy curling pants and a gossamer tactful truce between North and South Korea. From soft-pedaled doping bans to high-flying new events to a wintry temperatures in South Korea’s Olympic stadium, here’s your lie piece to a biggest stories around a 2018 Winter Olympics.

Russia’s kinda-sorta ban

Officially, Russia was barred from promulgation a group to PyeongChang as penance for a elaborate state-supported doping intrigue during a Sochi Olympics. But 28 Russian athletes had their doping bans overturned and 169 athletes who were deemed purify by a International Olympic Committee (IOC) will any contest as an “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” They won’t impetus underneath their nation’s dwindle or hear a anthem if they medal—but they’ll safeguard that Russia’s participation is felt.

New Winter Olympics events

Some new Olympics events will make their entrance in PyeongChang: a Alpine group competition, in that 16 countries block off in a mixed-gender slalom tournament; big-air snowboarding (boarders rise to a tip of a tower, afterwards fly off a 160-ft. ramp); churned doubles curling, that facilities dual curlers—a male and a woman—on a patrol rather than a common four; and mass-start speedskating (think a really swarming oval).

Read more: What to Know About Every Winter Olympic Sport

Age is only a number

No sporting eventuality mixes immature and aged utterly like a Olympics. German speedskater Claudia Pechstein, 45, will turn a initial lady to contest in 7 Winter Olympics Games; in a 5,000m, she’s seeking to turn a oldest Winter Olympic medalist in an particular event. Team USA’s oldest member, hockey actor Brian Gionta, 39, spurned offers from a NHL so he could lapse to a Winter Games a dozen years after his prior Olympic appearance. (For a initial time given 1994, NHL players will not contest in a Olympics.) Americans Kelly Clark (snowboarding), Kikkan Randall (cross-country skiing) and Shani Davis (speedskating) are all appearing in their fifth Olympics. The youngest U.S. Olympian is figure skater Vincent Zhou, 17.

Six nations creation Winter Olympics debut

Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore are all participating in their initial Winter Games in PyeongChang. Computer-science tyro Shannon-Ogbani Abeda, 21, will paint Eritrea; his relatives fled a East African republic in a 1980s during a War of Independence and staid as refugees in Alberta, where Abeda grew adult skiing.

Frigid temperatures

If you’re examination a Winter Olympics from a comfort of your possess home, be thankful. While temperatures in Vancouver and Sochi could be officious balmy, these Games could be a coldest given 1994, when Lillehammer, Norway, was host. One new heat reading from a PyeongChang Olympic Stadium: –8°F. For a opening ceremony, Polo Ralph Lauren will outfit Team USA in exhilarated parkas powered by a battery pack.

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