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All You Need To Know About The First Half Of PyeongChang Winter Olympics

We are officially over the half way mark of the Winter Olympic games and the medals are racking up, 26 countries have shared the medals so far with the potential for a couple more to join the table. Norway and Germany have are leading the way at the top of the table with 9 Gold’s each, Norway however sit on top with 9 Silvers and a Bronze to their name, 8 more total medals than Germany who have 5 Silver and 4 Bronze. On top of the medals, the records have continued to fall with 3 more Olympic Records being added in Speedskating, Women’s 1000m and 500m and the Men’s 10,000m. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot wowed the crowd during the Figure Skating as they smashed a World Record in the Free Skating on their way to a Gold Medal narrowly edging out the Chinese pairing.

©Terry Matthews, 19.01.2018, Unsplash.com

What’s making the headlines?

Away from the medals and the records we have seen a few competitors catch the attention of the world and have/will be cheered on by fans of any nation.  If you saw the Opening Ceremony you may remember Pita Taufatofua, the Tongan flag bearer, who stole the show with his oiled up torso and native dress. He competed in the 15km Freestyle Cross Country Skiing, before the Olympics he was quoted saying, “If I get a gold medal, I’ll be happy. If I come last, I’ll be happy.” And before the race added “First step, finish before they turn the lights off,”. Well he did just that as he finished in114th place, 23 minutes after the Gold Medalist, he received the biggest cheer of the event as every spectator waited to see the Tongan cross the line and celebrate like the winner. He was Followed by Mexico’s German Madrazo who crossed the line waving his countries flag in celebration.

Women’s Downhill Skiing brought a shock result as Czech athlete Ester Ledecka took home the gold in her first ever podium finish. Ledecka is best known for her talents on her Snowboard and is hopeful of a medal in the Snowboard Giant Slalom later in the week but she flew down the hill on ski’s she borrowed from Mikaela Shiffrin who had won Gold in the Giant Slalom. Ledecka crossed the line and stood there in shock, frozen with her mouth gaping open in disbelief and the camera man had to confirm to her she had won the gold!

Before the games we looked at the Jamaican athletes competing and were hopeful of a Cool Running’s 2 starring the Women’s Bobsleigh team, well their story is straight out of Hollywood after team coach, Sandra Kiriasis quit the team and threatened to take the sled with her. Luckily Jamaican beer company Red Stripe came to the rescue and offered to buy and donate a sled for the team to continue their Olympic Dream. Their first Heat begins on Tuesday 20th.

©Summit Flag, 21.10.2015, pixabay.com

How are South Korea doing?

The Korean team have continued to impress in front of their home fans and have been cheered on in every event no matter what the result. They have had a lot of success in Speed Skating and are currently sat in 9th place on the table with 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 1Bronze.

Choi Minjeong added to the Gold Medals with victory in the Women’s 1500m Short Track, the current World Record holder finished the race almost a second ahead of her nearest rival. After her heartbreak in the 500m Choi was over the moon with her victory and will be feeling confident of another medal in the 3000m relay. Lee Sang-Hwa added a Silver Medal in the 500m Speed Skating (not short track), 0.39 Seconds behind Japanese skater Nao Kodaira who set an Olympic Record to win the Gold.

Yun Sung-Bin, aka Iron Man, donned his Iron Man helmet as he took to the Sledding Track for the Men’s Skeleton event. He flew down his home track setting sublime times in his 4 runs and took the Gold Medal finishing 1.63 seconds ahead of his nearest rivals. This was Korea’s first ever Olympic Medal in a sliding sport and at the age of 23 he will be hoping to return for another Olympics and take home another medal for him.

By Imran Ali

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