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With the promise of raising adrenaline to the highest level, this Friday will be the official opening of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in the South Korean city of PyeongChang.
There will be more countries than in previous editions, four new disciplines and even a unified team of two countries that (technically) are at war.
During just over two weeks, 2,900 athletes will participate in seven sports , divided into 15 disciplines and 102 events .
At Rava we offer you a guide of 6 things about what you should not miss, the names that we recommend you write down and the curiosities that make PyeongChang – this is how you write after changing the name to differentiate yourself from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang- some unique games.
1. To see
As often happens in the Summer Olympics with athletics and swimming, at the Winter Olympics there are also sports that are more popular and attractive.
These are the ones that historically have captured attention.
- Figure skating: in particular in its modality of dance as a couple, where the skaters immerse themselves in a choreography in which they perform spectacular pirouettes at the same time as they flow with an elegant synchronization between them (February 19 and 29) .
- Alpine skiing, downhill : they are the most followed tests combining the adrenaline of speed with the skill of skiers traveling the longest distance of skiing. It is often said that the winner is the fastest and bravest skier (male , February 11 or female, February 21) .
- Male Hockey: without the participation of the players of the professional league of United States there are many doubts about which will be the selection that will rise to the top of the podium. As a favorite, the team of Russian athletes emerges. (final on February 25) .
- Speed skating: one of the tests that will debut at PyeongChang will be the mass start, where a maximum of 24 skaters will be fighting at the same time for 16 laps. There will be three intermediate sprints and one final one that will determine the winner (the male and female finals will be on February 24) .
- Bobsleigh : the synchronization at the start, together with the power with which they are propelled and the image of a rocket descending at 150 kilometers per hour through an ice slide make this test, in its version of four members one of the most exciting (final on February 25) .
2. To continue
There are proper names that come to South Korea in order to settle debts or confirm their position as the big stars of snow or ice.
- Mikaela Shiffrin, United States, alpine skiing. He has won 10 races and achieved 15 podiums in the 23 World Cup events in which he has participated this year. At 22, Shiffrin is called to master the slalom tests.
- Lindsey Vonn, United States, alpine skiing. The most successful skier in history has a pending debt in her career since within her extensive track record she only has an Olympic gold medal, won in Vancouver 2010. She has an appointment with the relegation test.
- Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan, figure skating. Four years ago Hanyu became the first Japanese in history to win the gold medal in figure skating at the Olympic Games and at 19 he was the youngest to do so since 1948. He was also the first to overcome the 100 mark. points and has broken 12 world records.
- Javier Fernández, Spain, figure skating. At 26, Fernandez has become one of the top stars of figure skating, adding two world titles and six European. For a country with little tradition in the winter Olympics (only one gold and one bronze in its history) it is understood the expectation that generates its participation after occupying the fourth place in Sochi.
- Martin Fourcade, France, biathlon. He won three medals in Sochi, including two golds, and since then he has dominated with authority the world cup competitions. His skill on snow and marksmanship makes him one of the attractions of the games.
- Laura Dahlmeier, Germany, biathlon. If Fourcade is king, Dahlmeier is the queen. Ranked number one in the world, the German skier will compete in six events and aspire to gold in all after winning five of them in the world championships of 2017.
- Chloe Kim, United States, snowboarding. At only 17 years old, Kim is already one of the mega stars of PyeongChang, her first games. He won the gold medal in the 2016 youth games and that year he was the first to complete two consecutive 1080s, which are six turns in total.
- Marcel Hirscher, Austria, alpine skiing. He has six gold medals in the world championships, but only one Olympic silver medal. It aspires to change that history being the favorite in the slalom and giant slalom tests.
3. Blue dominance
It is possible that the confusion reigns in the speed skating tests because of the number of delegations that opted for the blue color for their uniforms.
There are some like the United States and South Korea that historically have been linked to that color, but that Germany and Norway have also opted for blue has a scientific reason.
Or at least that is what they concluded when verifying that the new blue suit “is faster than the old red suit”, as explained at the time by the sports scientist Havard Myklebust, in charge of developing the Norwegian uniform.
Others believe that it is a mental trick to disorient their rivals and try to find the hundredths needed to get the medals.
4. The coldest winter
From the hottest in history four years ago in Sochi, where temperatures of up to 20ºC were recorded, to the coldest in PyeongChang, where freezing temperatures prevail during the next days, to the point that there is fear that may affect the development of the competences
Temperatures in the mountainous region of Alpensia could drop to minus 10ºC with a thermal sensation that could reach minus 25ºC, which would surpass the record of Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994, when a temperature of -11ºC was registered.
5. One Korea
They are officially at war, but a broad North Korean delegation is in PyeongChang to participate in the Winter Olympics as agreed by both countries earlier this year.
In total there will be ten athletes who will be participating in alpine skiing, figure skating, cross country skiing and speed skating.
There is no doubt that the most attention will be in the women’s hockey team in which the two Koreas will compete with a unified team, with 12 players from the north of the peninsula.
6. Looking for your flag
Eight Latin American countries will be present in South Korea, including Ecuador, which will participate for the first time.
Its lonely representative is joined by members of delegations with more tradition such as Argentina (6 athletes) and Chile (7), as well as athletes from Bolivia (2), Brazil (9), Colombia (4), Mexico (4) and Puerto Rico (1)
Everyone will try to achieve the extremely difficult task of winning a historic medal for their respective countries.