Feeling Inspired and Excited: Here’s Our Guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics

New Olympic sports this year, Must-watch events, and Why you’ll need to adjust your morning routine for two weeks!

“It’s February” someone said to me as if this was the most important month of the year. I turned to my friend in confusion, because my competitive soccer season is in the summer. The only thing that came to mind was it’s my mom’s birthday in Feb, but how did they know ⁉️

The dream of being an Olympian has been there for me since I first touched a ball and I have always loved watching these World Class athletes compete in the Olympics. Growing up, all of my classmates and friends’ favorite athletes were either Ronaldinho or some male athlete in the futbol game, but not mine. My favorite athlete and idol was Christine Sinclair. I clearly remember the day when I was watching the 2012 Olympic Women’s soccer match, and Canada was playing the USA in order to move onto the gold medal match. The tenacity, hard work, determination, leadership and positive mentality of Sinclair was something that stuck with me and from then on, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could in order to represent my country at the highest level and emulate her work ethic.

Sinclair and I (Alex). Sinclair is truly an unbelievable women on and off the pitch. I hope to play in the Summer Olympics in 2020 and inspire girls the way Sinclair and the whole Canadian Women’s team inspired me.

The Road to Being an Olympic Athlete

You may wonder why I got so excited if the sport I love and compete in isn’t even in the winter olympics? Seeing other athletes competing in their respective sports motivates and excites me since I know how much work they’ve put in to get to the place they are, and I myself am determined to be there some day, too. I share in the joys of the games as both a fan and a determined athlete. Kudos to all of the athletes who have reached such a level of high athletic distinction!

Below, I will break down the two week mass event that millions of people will be tuning into, in hopes that you, too, will find something worth tuning into! Like my picks for must-watch events!

A Brief Overview of The 2018 Olympics ⛄️❄️

February 9th — 25th, athletes from all over the world will compete for their country in order to try and achieve one of the greatest possible athletic honors be named the best athlete in the world. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang next week and run for almost a month. The official 2018 mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang. This will be the second Olympic Games held in South Korea. (Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics in 1988.) The winter Olympics are held every four years for all sports that are practiced on snow and ice (except snowball fighting. Not in the Olympics yet!) There are 92 nations participating and we want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action.

Fun Facts 🎮

  • North and South Korea announced a combined Olympic team for the first time ever! This a symbolic gesture to help smooth of decades of tension between the two nations. They plan to march together under a flag that unifies them both.
  • The estimated cost of this Olympics is about $13 billion USD (imagine what you can do with that much 💰💰) Although it seems like a lot, this is actually 5 times less than the Sochi Olympics!
  • The city lost by three votes to Vancouver for hosting duties in the 2010 Olympics and by just four votes to Sochi for the 2014 event. Now they finally have their time to shine 🙏🏼🌟!
  • The International Olympic Committee added four events to the Games this year: Big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass start speed skating and mixed doubles curling.
  • This is the first year since 1998 when NHL (National Hockey League) players are not allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics. On average, 141 NHL players played per season. Read here to learn why the NHL will not participate.

What is Team Canada Striving For?

Last Winter Olympics, Canada won 25 medals, including 10 gold medals and are looking to improve their medal count this time around. Before you get all excited, don’t forget that they are 14 hours ahead of the Eastern Standard Time (EST) Zone, so some games may be while you are fast asleep😰

Canadian figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will have the honour of carrying the Canadian flag at the opening ceremonies.

Opening Ceremony 🎉

The Opening ceremony will be held Friday, February 9 at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium which has the capacity to seat 35,000 people. It will be broadcasted on TV and online (details below). The opening ceremony is truly an event made to be on TV. Along with the grand parade of all the countries participating waving their flags proudly as they enter the stadium, there will also be visual and musical performances by well known artists and of course the lighting of the Olympic torch.

Date/Time: Friday Feb 9th at 5:30 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: CBC (Canada); NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: cbc.ca/olympics (Canada); NBCOlympics.com (U.S.)

When does all the action happen? 🎬

Somewhat of a reverse order, but the games will start on Thursday, February 8th, the day before the opening ceremonies. Curling and Ski jumping will start off the Olympic Games and will be the only two events to begin on Thursday. You can find out when each event competes here.

How do you watch all of this? 📺

Everyone in the US can watch the games on NBC either online or on TV. Canadians can watch the games on CBC or online on the CBC app.

CBC will have Olympic Games Primetime every night from 7pm - 2am, Olympic Games Morning from 6am -12pm and Olympic Games Overnight from 2–6am.

Closing Ceremony 👋

The closing ceremony will be held February 25 at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium which was where the open ceremonies were. This stadium will not hold any events, but was solely built for the opening and closing ceremonies. It will be broadcasted on TV and online.

My Picks: Must-Watch Events👀

🏂The halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and snowboarding events, which were only introduced to the Winter Olympics in 2014. When I first watched this event it was so captivating to see what these athletes are capable of, I will 100% be watching this event again no matter the time!

⛸Speed Skating is an event I thought I wouldn’t enjoy watching, but man can these athletes skate. The precision to race around the track and time your turns and cuts perfectly in order to beat opponents is what will keep me up watching this event.

🏒Hockey — Obviously I will be trying to watch all the hockey games that Canada is going to be apart of (would I really be a Canadian if I didn’t?)

Now that you have your guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics, make sure you cheer for Canada (or your respective country) and enjoy this rare event that only happens every 4 years!! Even if you don’t watch any winter sports, the grueling process of training and going through what these athletes do everyday should be enough motivation and inspiration to watch and give them your support.

If you want to talk Winter Olympics or want to schedule your own winter pick up games, feel free to reach out to alex@opensports.ca for help or just to chat ❤