It’s countdown to the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympic Games. Over February 2018 sports fans can witness apex athletes do their thing on snow and ice. This year host city Pyeongchang will welcome 50 000 competitors from 100 countries. That’s a vast improvement on the 258 athletes and 16 nations that competed in the first winter games in 1924!
The world’s attention is now firmly on South Korea, a country that has already hosted the biggest sports event on earth; the 1988 Seoul Summer Games. Despite its emergence as a world-class host nation, South Korea is steeped in culture and customs.
Escape to the winter netherworld of ice & magic and find yourself spinning and exposing bright and beautiful wins on Frozen Diamonds™ Online Slot.
So if you’re travelling to Pyeongchang, we recommend you brush up on what is and what isn’t acceptable practice in the enigmatic and equally enchanting Republic of Korea. In the meantime, take a look at a few fascinating facts pertaining to the Winter Olympics:
The Winds of War
There’ve been a few contentious years for the Winter Olympics, one of which was 1940. The world was on the cusp of war and the hostilities played out in the choice of host nation. Sapporo, Japan got the nod but the honours when rescinded when the small island nation invaded China. Germany took up the baton until it too got canned for invading neighbouring Poland. The end result, no winter games at all.
Rogue Nations Get the Boot
|The 1948 games were held in Switzerland, a country that maintained its neutrality for the duration of the war. And in a gleeful display of the proverbial middle finger, the vanquished Axis powers of Japan and Germany were not invited to compete.
They were the first rogue nations to get the boot. The tradition continued in 2017 when Russia was summarily banned from this year’s games due to the systematic and state-sanctioned doping of athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics!
Weird and Wonderful Exhibition Sports
|In addition to the scheduled events, spectators are treated to a few demonstrations of exhibitions sports. These are sports that are hoping to attract sufficient attention to be included in the next big winter event.
Some notable examples of demo sports include Military Patrol, a team sport comprising ski mountaineering, rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. Another is skijoring, where athletes are pulled across the ice at incredibly high speeds by rider-less horses or dogs. But the cherry on the top is ski ballet or ski-acro, where contestants on skis do a series of choreographed moves on a ski slope. Imagine pulling off spins, rolls, flips and leg crossings with 1.5 metre long footwear!
Whoops: The Weather
The Winter Olympics are obviously heavily cold-weather dependent. Without sufficient snow and ice; the show simply cannot go on. That’s why no southern hemisphere country has ever hosted the games. But even in the northern climes, things can go awry.
In 1948 St Moritz Switzerland was plagued by unseasonably warm weather, so much so the speed-skating event was cancelled. Four years on in Lake Placid New York, events were postponed for weeks as organisers waited for the snow to fall.
Winter Olympics: Fun Firsts
There’s always a first for everything and the Winter Olympics are no exception. The first torchbearer to fall was Italian Guido Carroll who got his skates snagged up in a TV cable. It was 1956; the first Winter Olympics to be televised live!