You’ve probably heard of the Winter Olympics, where countries from around the world come together to compete in winter sports? Or maybe you haven’t. That’s ok—we have you covered. Here is the countdown to the top five reasons to watch the Winter Olympics:
5. More Countries Are Participating Than Ever Before
The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will have more countries participating than in any other Winter Olympics so far. For the record, there were eighty-eight countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics,—there are ninety-two this year!
4. Six New Countries!
Six countries are sending their athletes to compete for the first time ever! They are Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore. Can you plot them on the map above?
3. An Unexpected Contender
The first African nation to ever qualify for the Winter Olympics is the Nigerian Women’s Bobsledding team. And yes, this is a country that has never seen snow! Read more about their story here.
2. Korea, Korea, Korea
What can we say? Korea might just be the top reason to watch the Olympics for a lot of people. Why? North Korea and South Korea will be competing as one country for the first time ever (and let’s just say they are not BFFs). Fun question: What happens to a country’s flag when they join forces? Well, take a look above! More on North and South Korea at the Olympics here.
1. The Opening Ceremony!
Imagine the whole world coming together to watch one show. The Opening Ceremony has historically been a spectacular show, and this time, South Korea is expected to be worth the wait!
Oh, and one more reason? Russia! A lifetime ban is a pretty brutal blow for an athlete, especially for the Russian athletes accused of doping (a no-no). But wait … they still have a way to compete. True, they cannot compete as part of the Russian team, but they get to compete under the IOC (International Olympics Committee) flag. These athletes are considered some of the best, winning the most medals—including gold—in 2014. More on Russia and the Olympics here.
So there you have it—our list of reasons to watch the Winter Olympics, starting on Friday, February 9th.
Will you be watching?
Tell us what you think of the Opening Ceremony by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.