By Abigail Solano
With the 2018 Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 9, there are still many events that will be taking place until Feb. 25. However, a lot has happened since the beginning of the games. With Norway in the lead with the most medals through the first week, history being made in multiple events, and several controversies starting, there is a lot to talk about from the first week in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
- Erin Hamlin was selected and walked as the flagbearer for the USA in the Olympic opening ceremony. Hamlin is a luger and has one bronze Olympic medal from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Hamlin initially tied for the nomination with Shani Davis, a gold medalist and speed skater, after a vote was taken by the Olympic team. The final decision was made after a coin toss was won by Hamlin.
- Chloe Kim won gold for her performance in the women’s halfpipe snowboarding at age 17. Her first run scored a 93.75 and her third and final run scored a 98.25, which secured the gold medal. Kim’s father, Jong Jin Kim, won the hearts of the public when he showed up to the event with a handwritten sign with her name and a red heart on it.
- Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot made history in the pairs free skate with the highest score ever recorded. Savchenko finally won a medal with this being her fifth attempt at Olympic gold. They earned a total score of 235.90 points with their throw triple flip and triple toe perfections wowing the crowd, and the judges.
- Shaun White redeemed himself after an unfortunate run that landed him in fourth place at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. White won his third gold medal in men’s halfpipe with a final score of 97.75. Amidst apologies for sexual harassment claims and dragging the American flag across the snow, White still is being proclaimed for being known as the “world’s best snowboarder.”
- Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axle in figure skating at the Winter Olympic. She has become the ninth woman to have ever accomplished it and only the third woman to complete it at the Olympics. Nagasu landed the trick for the U.S. team figure skating, helping her win the bronze medal.
- North and South Korea walked as one team during the Opening Ceremony under the same flag. They also brought a combined women’s hockey team to compete at the games, losing 8-0 to Switzerland. Their conjoinment has been seen to many as a tension relief over deeper issues involving nuclear weapons.
- Emily Sweeney was a part of a luge crash during her third run for women’s luge. She crashed on the track at turn nine and was immediately taken to the hospital after walking off the track. Sweeney did not have any broken bones from the crash but precautionary measures were taken for her safety.
- Redmond Gerard won gold in men’s snowboarding slopestyle at age 17. He has become America’s youngest man to win gold at the Winter Olympics since 1928. His third run won him the gold medal with a score of 87.16. He was also caught swearing on live TV after he realized that he had won.
- Adam Rippon competed as the first openly gay American athlete to take part in the Winter Olympics. After a controversy between American Vice President Mike Pence and Rippon broke out over his sexuality, Rippon went on to win a bronze medal with the American figure skating team.
- Chris Mazdzer became the first American to win a medal in the men’s single luge competition. He won a silver medal and also a lot of popularity from America. Social media has praised him for winning a medal and eating an entire piece of pizza in one bite.