5 Things to look for at the 2018 winter Olympic games

5 Things to look for at the 2018 winter Olympic games

1. The Unified Korean ice hockey team – Getting a combined Korean women’s ice hockey team to compete is a bona fide triumph.

True, there have been teething problems – the North Koreans use different terms for pass and block, for instance – and the team are likely to lose all three of their matches, starting against Switzerland on Saturday. But after 70 years of tensions, why fret about the small stuff?

2. British athletes winning medals – Team GB believe they can win between five and 10, which would make these Games their most successful Winter Games ever – surpassing the four achieved in Sochi.

3. Russia (again) – The question of whether Russia should have been banned dominated the build-up to these Games, and the issue is likely to stew repeatedly over the next fortnight. Officially Russia is banned as a punishment for state-sponsored doping in Sochi. However, its athletes who are considered clean – around 168 or so at the current count – will compete under the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) banner.

4. The Nigerian “Super Eagles” bobsleigh team – Every Winter Olympics needs a tale to burnish the heart and it’s hard to look past Nigeria’s women’s bobsleighers this time. Three years ago Seun Adigun, who competed as a hurdler at London 2012, decided to build a wooden sled and started practising in Houston, without snow. Now she and her team-mates have a new sled thanks to a $75,000 crowdfunding campaign – and are about to became the first African bobsleigh team to compete at a Winter Olympics.

5. Lindsey Vonn’s last hurrah – Lindsey Vonn is not only the greatest skier in US history but also one of the few global winter sport celebrities. Yet despite winning four overall World Cup titles over a stellar career, injuries and bad luck have seen her Olympic medal tally stand at a solitary gold and bronze. At 33, this is surely her last Games.

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