By BLUE & GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD
The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang County, South Korea began on Friday, Feb. 9 and will go until Sunday, Feb. 25. Currently Germany is leading with 12 medals, followed by the Netherlands with 11, and then the United States with 7.
The U.S. Olympic team this year has already made history with its athletes and their performances. While she did not medal in her main event, the women’s 500 meters, Maame Biney, 18, was the first African American to make the U.S. Olympic speedskating team. History was also made by Redmond Gerard, 17, who became the youngest Olympic snowboarding champion when he won gold in PyeongChang.
While the caliber of athletes is high, and the intense competition in the games is undeniable, this years Olympics is important for more reasons than the competition itself. The athletes are making history, but so is the context surrounding the event.
In the time leading up to the games, and even during them, a fair amount of controversial events have already occured. These events include the Russian athlete doping scandal, to Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to stand for the united Korean team at the opening ceremony and his drama with openly gay U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon, and a software hacking attempt that took place during the opening ceremony.
In spite of the negative issues, these Olympics have done a lot to bring people together. As put by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, these are the “Olympic games of peace.” One of the most significant, and positive, events was the united Korean team marching together at the opening ceremony. Along with this, the two countries came together to make a joint women’s ice hockey team.
As the games continue, there is hope that the sense of unity will overpower any controversy that could occur. With all that is going on in the world today the need to keep the spirit of the Olympics, and all that the games stand for, alive is just as important as ever.