The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are in full swing! From the opening ceremony on February 9th through the closing ceremony 16 days later on the 25th, the entire world will be closely watching to see which country has the best ice skaters, skiiers, and…curlers? At Her Beauty, we are doing all the dirty work and tracking down all the amazing stories out of this year’s Olympics so that you won’t have to. If you’ve been paying attention to the Games (and we know you have been!), some of these stories might already be familiar to you. But who knows, there might be a surprise or two. We proudly present 8 awesome things that have happened at the Winter Olympics so far!
1. Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium Made its sparkling debut
The world got to see Pyeongchang’s new 35,000-seat stadium in all its glory on February 9th when athletes representing 92 nations came out to celebrate the opening of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games. World leaders and arch-nemeses Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un weren’t in attendance, but impersonators who dressed up like the pair attempted to gain entry. While security was all over that, the fellows get an “A” for effort. Consequently, the $109 million stadium will undoubtedly be used for years and years to come. Just kidding. They’ve already planning to tear it down after the Games are over.
2. Korea is now unified
It’s official folks: Korea is one country again and we can now look forward to peace for the rest of eternity. Okay, so maybe not. But the two Koreas did march at the opening ceremony under one flag. And the two countries’ women’s hockey teams joined forces to compete as one team. The join hockey effort wasn’t without a few minor complications, however. Their coach, the American-born Sarah Murray, doesn’t speak a lick of Korean and the even players from each of the Koreas use different ice hockey terminology. Although they got walloped in their three matches by a total score of 20-1, they still managed to capture our hearts, right?
3. North Korean Cheerleaders are the most North Korean thing ever
The North Korean delegation of 200 includes around 100 cheerleaders, all of whom are women in their 20s who were allegedly handpicked by “the Marshal” himself. During the hockey matches featuring the aforementioned united Korean women’s hockey team, the young ladies chanted in unison and carefully choreographed their dance moves. Another Kim Jong-un look-a-like stopped by to mingle, but neither the ladies nor the security guards that gave him the boot were amused.
4. Russia is totally banned from the 2018 Games, but they totally aren’t banned at all
After Russia found itself engulfed in a huge doping scandal, the International Olympic Committee responded in the strongest way possible. They banned Russia from the 2018 games. They were sending a message that in no uncertain terms cheating would not be tolerated. Not really. Russia was still allowed to send 169 of its athletes to Pyeongchang. Several athletes have already won medals that they will proudly take back home to Mother Russia. Known as the Olympic Athletes from Russia, the participants aren’t technically allowed to compete under the flag of their home country, but who are they kidding? Here’s to hoping Russia has learned its lesson!
5. An American Female Ice Skater Finally Lands a Triple-Axel
In 1776, the 13 American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. Fast forward more than 240 years, and the Yanks finally managed to land their first triple-axel in an international skating competition. It sure took them long enough, didn’t it? Mirai Nagasu managed the feat, helping lead the US to the bronze medal in the team competition. In all seriousness, the triple-axel really is legitimately hard. To put things into perspective, when we writers at Her Beauty manage a mere SINGLE-axel, we take the rest of the day off to celebrate.
6. Team Mexico is represented by…a Mexican who doesn’t speak Spanish
Listen, we all know that most of the 92 countries that are taking part in this year’s Winter Olympics don’t have a prayer of achieving glory. In fact, if history is any indication, around 70% of the competing countries are going home empty-handed. But that doesn’t mean countries like Mexico can’t dream. America’s southern neighbors have sent 4 skiers to the Games, all of whom are all tricked out in Day of the Dead ski suits, because why not? Interesting, the contingent includes an American who previously represented Team USA, a Spaniard (!), a Mexican (!!!), and a Mexican-born chap who was adopted by a Canadian family a few months after his birth and who doesn’t actually speak his native country’s language. Still pretty cool story though, isn’t it?
7. American Teenager has a filthy mouth and shiny gold medal
So get this: 17-year old American Red Gerard managed to sleep through his alarm because he was binge-watching a Netflix show. He also lost his jacket and had to borrow a teammate’s. Basically he was behaving exactly like all of us did when we were dorky teenagers. Except that unlike us, he’s got a gold medal. In fact, he is the youngest male winter Olympic athlete in 90 years to achieve that feat. Oh, and he managed to drop the f-bomb in response to winning.
8. Shirtless Tongan Guy has returned!
During the Summer Olympic Games in Rio two years ago, a muscular, insanely oiled athlete from Tonga took part in the opening ceremonies dressed in a traditional Tongan Ta’ovala, a woven mat worn around his waste. Fast forward to 2018 and Pita Taufatofua, who competed in the Summer games in taekwondo, is representing his country yet again, but this time in skiing (which he learned in 3 months!). Oh, and he was shirtless again during the February 9th opening ceremony even though the temperatures were below freezing. He really ought to get some kind of medal for that, don’t you think?