2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Recap

The 2018 Winter Olympics is in the books. Held in PyeongChang, South Korea, there were no real controversies at the 17-day international event (Feb. 9–25). In total, the XXII Olympic Winter Games – commonly referred to as PyeongChang 2018 – featured 7 sports, 15 disciplines, and 102 different events. The 102 events on hand for the PyeongChang Games are a record for the Winter Olympics, which saw four events contested for the first time. These included “big air” snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing. The PyeongChang Games are the first Winter Olympics to have more than 100 medal events on the schedule, but they certainly won’t be the last.

Of course, the games are also about the athletes, not just the events. PyeongChang 2018 featured 2914 athletes from 92 nations. Notably, Russia was not allowed to compete as an NOC (National Olympic Committee) nation, instead being designated as the OAR, for “Olympic Athletes from Russia.” North Korea participated in unity with South Korea, and the two countries even fielded a unified women’s ice hockey team. Six countries made their Winter Olympics debuts in the 2018 Games, including Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore.

The opening ceremony for PyeongChang 2018 was held on Feb. 9, 2018, at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. This venue was also used for the closing ceremonies (Feb. 25, 2018) of the Games as well as for the opening and closing ceremonies for the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games (Mar. 9-18). The facility, which cost an estimated $100 million to build, was demolished after the conclusions of these sports festivals.

Sports At The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

There were 7 overarching sports categories at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. These included the biathlon, bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating, and skiing. Under these were a total of 15 disciplines, and under those were 102 different individual and team events that made up the competition schedule. The event breakdown was as follows:

Biathlon (11 events):

  • Women’s 7.5 km sprint
  • Men’s 10 km sprint
  • Women’s 10 km pursuit
  • Men’s 12.5 km pursuit
  • Women’s 15 km individual
  • Men’s 20 km individual
  • Women’s 12.5 km mass start
  • Men’s 15 km mass start
  • Mixed 2 x 6 km / 2 x 7.5 km relay
  • Women’s 4 x 6 km relay
  • Men’s 4 x 7.5 km relay

Bobsleigh (3 Events):

  • Two-Woman
  • Four-Man

Skeleton (2 Events):

  • Men’s Singles
  • Women’s Singles

Curling (3 Events):

  • Men’s Tournament
  • Women’s Tournament
  • Mixed Doubles

Ice Hockey (2 Events):

  • Men’s Tournament
  • Women’s Tournament

Luge (4 Events):

  • Men’s Singles
  • Women’s Singles
  • Men’s Doubles
  • Mixed Team Relay

Figure Skating (5 Events):

  • Team
  • Pair Skating
  • Men’s Singles
  • Ice Dance
  • Ladies’ Singles

Short Track Speed Skating (8 Events):

  • Men’s 1500 Meters
  • Women’s 500 Meters
  • Women’s 1500 Meters
  • Men’s 1000 Meters
  • Women’s 3000 Meter Relay
  • Women’s 1000 Meters
  • Men’s 500 Meters
  • Men’s 5000 Meter Relay

Speed Skating (14 Events):

  • Women’s 3000 Meters
  • Men’s 5000 Meters
  • Women’s 1500 Meters
  • Men’s 1500 Meters
  • Women’s 1000 Meters
  • Men’s 10,000 Meters
  • Women’s 5000 Meters
  • Women’s 500 Meters
  • Men’s 500 Meters
  • Team Pursuit Men
  • Team Pursuit Women
  • Men’s 1000 Meters
  • Mass Start Men
  • Mass Start Women

Alpine Skiing (11 Events):

  • Men’s Combined
  • Women’s Giant Slalom
  • Men’s Downhill
  • Women’s Slalom
  • Men’s Super-g
  • Women’s Super-g
  • Men’s Giant Slalom
  • Women’s Downhill
  • Men’s Slalom
  • Women’s Combined
  • Team Event

Cross-Country Skiing (12 Events):

  • Women’s Skiathlon
  • Men’s Skiathlon
  • Men’s Individual Sprint Classical
  • Women’s Individual Sprint Classical
  • Women’s 10 Km Freestyle
  • Men’s 15 Km Freestyle
  • Women’s 4 X 5 Km Relay
  • Men’s 4 X 10 Km Relay
  • Women’s Team Sprint Freestyle
  • Men’s Team Sprint Freestyle
  • Men’s 50 Km Mass Start Classical
  • Women’s 30 Km Mass Start Classical

Freestyle Skiing (10 Events):

  • Women’s Moguls
  • Men’s Moguls
  • Women’s Aerials
  • Women’s Ski Slopestyle
  • Men’s Ski Slopestyle
  • Men’s Aerials
  • Women’s Ski Halfpipe
  • Men’s Ski Cross
  • Men’s Ski Halfpipe
  • Women’s Ski Cross

Nordic Combined (3 Events):

  • Men’s Individual Normal Hill 10 Km
  • Men’s Individual Large Hill 10 Km
  • Men’s Team Large Hill 4 X 5 Km

Ski Jumping (4 Events):

  • Men’s Individual Normal Hill
  • Women’s Individual Normal Hill
  • Men’s Individual Large Hill
  • Men’s Team Large Hill

Snowboarding (10 Events):

  • Men’s Slopestyle
  • Women’s Slopestyle
  • Women’s Halfpipe
  • Men’s Halfpipe
  • Men’s Snowboard Cross
  • Women’s Snowboard Cross
  • Women’s Big Air
  • Men’s Big Air
  • Women’s Parallel Giant Slalom
  • Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom

Venues At The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

One of the reasons that PyeongChang was selected as the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics was due to the proximity of the various event venues to one another, making logistics much simpler for athletes, support staff, fans, and visitors. PyeongChang 2018 featured 13 competition venues, with six of them being purpose-built for the Olympics. Construction began in the early 2010s, and there were no problems of note with any of the venues or constituent facilities.

The Alpensia Resort was effectively Ground Zero for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and it is located in Dawgwallyeong-myeon, PyeongChang, South Korea. The resort area was home to nine distinct venues, seven of which were in the Alpensia Sports Park. The full list of PyeongChang 2018 venues is displayed below.

Alpensia Sports Park:

Stand-alone venues:

Gangneung Coastal Cluster

PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count By Nation

There were 102 podium ceremonies at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The following are the top ten nations in terms of total medal count, with the medals shown in parentheses in the order of gold, silver, and bronze. Norway won the most medals at 39, nearly 10 more than second-place Germany at 31. Norway and Germany tied for the most gold medals at 14 each, while Norway had the most silvers at 14 and the most bronzes at 11.

  • Norway - 39 (14, 14, 11)
  • Germany – 31 (14, 10, 7)
  • Canada – 29 (11, 8, 10)
  • United States - 23 (9, 8, 6)
  • Netherlands – 20 (8, 6, 6)
  • South Korea – 17 (5, 8, 4)
  • France – 15 (5, 4, 6)
  • Switzerland - 15 (5, 6, 4)
  • Austria – 14 (5, 3, 6)
  • Sweden – 14 (7, 6, 1)
  • Field – 90 (20, 29, 41)

In addition to the above, there were three “podium sweeps,” where athletes from one nation took gold, silver, and bronze in a given event. The Netherlands took all three places in the women’s 300 meters speed skating event, Norway swept the men’s 30 km skiathlon cross-country racing event, and Germany swept the individual large hill 10 km Nordic combined event.

Top Athletes At The 2018 Winter Olympics

It is not easy to break down a field of thousands of athletes into “bests” by any measure, but there were a few notable standouts in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. There were numerous records and firsts at the Games, and several athletes used the Olympics to cap off stellar careers in their respective sports and disciplines. Meanwhile, other athletes just started etching their own names into the historical monuments to perseverance and dedication that the Olympics represents.

Marit BjorgenMarit Bjorgen (NOR) – Marit Bjorgen of Norway, at 37 years old, ended her Olympic career by winning gold in the women’s 30 km mass start classical, capturing her fifth medal of the 2018 Games and her 8th career Olympic gold. She currently owns the record for the most career medals in the Winter Olympics at 15, two more than the second-place athlete on the list. Her 8 gold medals tie the all-time Winter Olympics record.

Ester LedeckaEster Ledecka (CZE) – An unheralded alpine skier and most notable as a snowboarding specialist, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic did the unfathomable when she took gold in the women’s super-G to beat defending gold medalist Anna Veith by 0.01 seconds. Ledecka started in 26th place to take the title. In her World Cup skiing career, she never finished higher than 19th, nor did she finish any event higher than 7th in the 2017-2018 downhill skiing season. Ledecka also won gold in the parallel giant slalom on the snowboard, which is her signature event – she was the reigning world champion in the giant slalom heading into the Olympics. Ledecka is the first and so far only athlete to ever win golds in two separate Winter Olympic sports (skiing and snowboarding).

Johannes Hosflot KlaeboJohannes Hosflot Klaebo (NOR) – Norwegian phenom Johannes Hosflot Klaebo, at 21 years old, became the youngest Olympic gold medalist in the history of the cross-country individual sprint. He also won Gold in the team sprint alongside countryman Martin Johnsrud Sundby, and took gold as part of the men’s 4 x 10 km relay team. He was one of only two athletes to win three gold medals in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Martin FourcadeMartin Fourcade (FRA) – Along with Klaebo, Martin Fourcade of France was the only other athlete to win three gold medals at PyeongChang 2018. Fourcade is a biathlete, winning the 12.5 km pursuit event, the Men’s 15 km mass start event, and the mixed relay. Fourcade nearly had a fourth gold medal, but the Frenchman fittingly missed his 19th and 20th shots in the individual 20 km event. Fourcade also won two golds at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, bringing his career total to five medals, the most ever for a French Winter Olympics athlete.

2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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