The 2018 Winter Olympics will commence in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, Feb. 9 and will run through Sunday, Feb. 25.
The 23rd edition of the Winter Games will unite 92 countries in competition over a series of 102 events, which will be divided between 15 featured sports disciplines.
Traditional sporting events like alpine skiing, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, speed skating, figure skating, skeleton and snowboarding will be featured in the 2018 Winter Games.
Four new disciplines have also been added to the mix for 2018. According to a report from Sports Illustrated, big air snowboarding and skiing, mixed doubles curling and mass-start speed skating will be introduced to the Olympic stage in Pyeongchang.
Prior to the opening ceremony on Friday, students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point weighed in with their thoughts on the tradition. Some UWSP students enjoy watching the Winter Olympics and are looking forward to the 2018 games, while others will not be watching.
Sophomore Daniel Rider is among the contingent who enjoy watching the competition between world-class athletes.
“I enjoy watching skiing, snowboarding and skeleton,” Rider said. “For skiing and snowboarding, I like watching the racing and freestyle events.”
Rider’s appreciation for the tradition can be attributed, in part, to the global unity it promotes as well as the motivation it provides for up-and-coming athletes.
“It gives athletes something to strive for and it brings individual countries together to cheer on our athletes,” Rider said.
In contrast to Rider, junior Ian Waller and freshman Austin Brooks said that they don’t watch the Winter Games. Despite their lack of interest, both students agree that the Olympics are important from a macro perspective because of its cultural significance.
“They are culturally relevant and hold tradition within so many communities,” Waller said.
Brooks said, “I think that the Winter Olympics is an important tradition because it celebrates camaraderie and companionship between countries.”