The countdown is on for XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. On Friday the games begin, with 17 days of Olympic competition set to take place from Feb. 9-25. More than 2,800 athletes from more than 85 nations are expected to participate in 15 sport disciplines.
Did you know there are four New Hampshire Olympians competing this year – Patrick Caldwell of Lyme, a cross-country skier; Sean Doherty, of Center Conway, a biathlete; Broc Little, originally from Rindge, on the U.S. ice hockey team; and Eric Loughran of Pelham, a freestyle skier? Following the “hometown” athletes is always fun. There’s more information on them below, as well as all our New England Olympians.
History buffs will appreciate a primer on how the Olympic tradition all began including Olympic trivia, like the fact that three summer and two winter editions of the Games were scheduled to take place but later cancelled due to war: Berlin (summer) in 1916; Tokyo/Helsinki (summer) and Sapporo/Garmisch-Partenkirchen (winter) in 1940; and London (summer) and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy (winter) in 1944.
There is of course a bit of international intrigue this year, with the tension between North and South Korea, and the suspension of Russian athletes. Opening ceremony tickets cost about 1,500,000 South Korean won (that’s about 1,400 U.S. dollars).
Five things you should know about the XXIII Olympics
- The 2018 Winter Olympics will feature 102 events in 15 sports, making it the first Winter Olympics to surpass 100 medal events. Four new disciplines in existing sports were introduced to the Winter Olympic including big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing.
- A total of 95 teams have qualified at least one athlete so far, with 92 of them expected to compete.
- Under an agreement with North Korea, its qualified athletes will be allowed to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone into South Korea and compete in the games.The two nations will march together under the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony. A Unified Korea women’s ice hockey team will also compete under a separate IOC country code designation (COR); in all other sports, there will be a separate North Korea team and a separate South Korea team
- On December 5, 2017, the IOC announced that the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended due to the Russian doping controversy. Individual athletes who qualified and can demonstrate they have complied with the IOC’s doping regulations will instead compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” (OAR) under a neutral flag and with the Olympic anthem played in any ceremony.
- Six nations are scheduled to make their Winter Olympics debut: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.
Anyway, it’s all about the athletes, right? So, in the spirit of New England sports team unity, we’ve included the names of all the Olympic athletes from around New England who are competing below – New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. No Rhode Island athletes this time around. More information is available on members of Team USA here.
Patrick Caldwell, Cross-Country Skiing, Lyme
Sean Doherty, Biathlon, Center Conway
Broc Little, Ice Hockey, Rindge
Eric Loughran, Freestyle Skiing, Pelham
Russell Currier, Biathlon, Stockholm
Clare Egan, Biathlon, Cape Elizabeth
Troy Murphy, Freestyle Skiing, Bethel
Emily Sweeney, Luge, Suffield
Kacey Bellamy, Ice Hockey, Westfield
Chris Bourque Ice Hockey North Reading
Bobby Butler Ice Hockey Marlborough
Jonathan Cheever Snowboarding Saugus
Ryan Donato Ice Hockey Scituate
Annalisa Drew Freestyle Skiing Andover
Meghan Duggan Ice Hockey Danvers
Kali Flanagan Ice Hockey Burlington
Steven Langton Bobsled Melrose Four-Man/Push
John McCarthy Ice Hockey Boston
Sidney Morin Ice Hockey Minnetonka
Mike Trapp Snowboarding Marstons Mills
Noah Welch Ice Hockey Brighton
Mark Arcobello Ice Hockey Milford
Mac Bohonnon Freestyle Skiing Madison
Zachary Donohue Figure Skating Madison
Lindsey Jacobellis Snowboarding Roxbury
Julia Marino Snowboarding Westport
Kiley McKinnon Freestyle Skiing Madison
Tucker West Luge Ridgefield
Sophie Caldwell, Cross-Country Skiing, Peru
Caroline Claire, Freestyle Skiing, Manchester Center
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Alpine Skiing, Starksboro
Emily Dreissigacker, Biathlon, Morrisville
Susan Dunklee, Biathlon, Barton
Nolan Kasper, Alpine Skiing, Warren
Devin Logan, Freestyle Skiing, West Dover
Kaitlynn Miller, Cross-Country Skiing, Elmore
Andy Newell, Cross-Country Skiing, Shaftsbury
Amanda Pelkey, Ice Hockey, Montpelier
Ida Sargent, Cross-Country Skiing, Craftsbury
Emerson Smith, Freestyle Skiing, Dover
Liz Stephen, Cross-Country Skiing, East Montpelier