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The Pyeongchang Olympics have had a bit of everything since Yuna Kim ignited the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony on Feb. 9 — political theater, incredible athletic achievements, the wrath of Mother Nature, and more Russians caught doping.
The first week was significantly overshadowed by the visit of Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim Yo Jong attended the opening ceremony and also took in the first ice hockey game played by the combined Korean team while meeting with South Korean leaders.
What it all means in the final analysis is unclear at this point, but Kim Yo Jong extended an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang for a summit with Kim Jong Un at some point.
There were several highlights, but none surpassed that of Yuzuru Hanyu winning his second consecutive gold medal in figure skating. Hanyu equaled a mark that had stood for 66 years, since American Dick Button claimed his second straight gold at the 1952 Games in Oslo.
Norway topped the final medal table with a record total of 39, including 14 gold, the most ever at a Winter Olympics. Germany was second with 31 (also 14 gold) and Canada third with 29 (11 gold).
Japan finished with a total of 13 medals while enjoying its best Olympics since Nagano with four golds. Japan won five at the those games in 1998.
Since Nagano, Japan’s only golds had been Shizuka Arakawa’s in figure skating at the 2006 Turin Games and Hanyu’s in Sochi.
Disappointments abounded as well, with American skier Lindsey Vonn only able to collect a bronze medal in the downhill after being favored for gold, and teammate Mikaela Shiffrin taking home one gold (in the giant slalom) and one silver (in the Alpine combined), after being tabbed for three golds.
High winds forced the postponement of several events during the games. Dangerous blasts ripped through both Pyeongchang and Gangneung on Feb. 14, injuring 16 staff members and forcing the temporary closure of media venues that day.
Russian athletes competed here under the Olympic flag and were referred to as Olympic Athletes from Russia, but I’m not sure anybody bought into the tactic hatched by the International Olympic Committee following the revelation of the diabolical doping plot that took place at the 2014 Sochi Games.
First published in The Japan Times on Feb. 26.
One-minute chat about “the highlight of your winter.”
Collect words related to South Korea, e.g., neighbor, dramas, spicy food.
1) ignite: fire up, e.g., He ignited the lamp.
2) tab: expect (someone) to do something, e.g., They were tabbed to break the record.
Guess the headline
From start to finish, P_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Olympics entertained and showcased splendid collection of global at_ _ _ _ _ s
1) When and where were the last consecutive gold medals in men’s figure skating won?
2) How was the weather at the Olympics?
3) Which team did Russian athletes represent?
Let’s discuss the article
1) What were your highlights from the games?
2) How could the games have been improved?
3) What do you expect Tokyo 2020 to be like?
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