The 2018 Winter Games Come to a Close

Noel Mikkelsen, Layout Artist

After just 16 days of competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2018 Winter Olympics have officially ended. Norway dominated every other country in terms of medal count the games brought many surprises and amazing new feats. World records were broken and fan favorite, gold medal winning athletes failed to reach the podium. Ester Ledecka from the Czech Republic became the first woman ever to win a gold medal in two different sports at the same Winter Games. Popular US figure skaters Mirai Nagasu and Nathan Chen made history with their stunning performances but were not able to win a medal and didn’t make the individual podium.

Norway’s superiority over the medal count was clear right from the start. The Nordic country ended the games with a total of 39 medals: 14 gold, 14 silver, and 11 bronze. The only other country that was even close to Norway was Germany with a mere 31 medals. Norway’s dominance was most likely due to how well the country generally performs in the Winter Games. Four years ago, they earned the second most medals and the 2010 Vancouver Games placed them in fourth place. The banning of drug induced Russian athletes also played a significant part in the medal placement of Norway and others. Russia typically performs well in both Olympic Games, with the country placing first at the 2014 Sochi Games and fourth at the 2016 Rio Games.

The US got off to a rocky start but was able to make a comeback in the last couple days of competition. The women’s ice hockey team beat Canada and won the gold medal for the first time in 20 years. The men’s curling team also made history by winning their first ever gold medal match in the event. The popular Shaun White, and other snowboarders, also reigned supreme in their events, boosting the United States’ medal count to 23 by the end of the games (fourth place).

Even though many events didn’t go the way that was expected, it was still an exciting and breathtaking tournament to watch. Everybody always cheers on their own country and bashes other nations in the heat of competition, but it is safe to say that the Olympic Games actually brings us one step closer to world unity. People from all over the world meet in one central area and are able to connect and share a magnificent experience together. If North and South Korea were able to achieve temporary peace for the Winter Games, who’s to say other nations can’t attain tranquility?