**Olympic theme blaring in the background**
Hello, everyone. Whether you found your way here on purpose or by complete happenstance, we are delighted to have you with us. Welcome to “The Bat Flip” official 2018 Winter Olympics extravaganza. Over the next 17 days we will have daily content regarding all things Olympics, from daily recaps, event previews, athlete spotlights, and much more.
Today will be the official kickoff of our Winter Olympics content, with our preview of the 23rd edition of the winter Games being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
What can you expect from our preview? Here’s a brief look:
- Basics on the host city
- List of events
- How to Watch
- Participating nations
- Quick look at Team USA
- Medal Outlook
- Who to follow for Olympic news
- Future Olympic content
Now that the formalities are out of the way and we have your feet wet, let’s dive into our preview of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Host city: Pyeongchang, South Korea
- Dates: February 8-25
- Competition begins on the 8th, Opening Ceremonies are held on the 9th.
- Population: 43,666 (2013 estimate)
- Region: Gangwon Province
- Closest Major City: Seoul, South Korea
- Language: Korean
- Timezone: UTC +9
- (14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time; 8:00 AM EST=10:00 PM Pyeongchang)
- Previous Olympics hosted: None
- Climate: It’s going to be very cold
- Stadium: Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium
- Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium — Opening/Closing Ceremonies
- Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre — Ski jumping, Nordic combined
- Alpensia Biathlon Centre — Biathlon
- Alpensia Cross-Country Centre — Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined
- Alpensia Sliding Centre — Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton
- Yongpyong Alpine Centre — Alpine skiing (slalom, giant slalom)
- Bogwang Snow Park — Freestyle skiing, Snowboarding
- Jeongseon Alpine Centre — Alpine skiing (downhill, super-G, combined)
- Gangneung Hockey Centre — Men’s ice hockey tournament
- Gangneung Curling Centre — Curling
- Gangneung Oval — Speed skating
- Gangneung Ice Arena — Short-track speed skating, Figure skating
- Kwandong Hockey Centre — Women’s ice hockey tournament
- Olympic Village
List of Events
Unlike the Summer Olympics, there are far fewer events taking place during its winter counterpart but that does not mean there will be a lack of fun and excitement in the snowy mountains of South Korea.
There are 15 events under the Winter Olympics banner, each featuring their own special disciplines. Some, like Alpine skiing and ice hockey, may be familiar to you. Others, like Nordic combined and Biathlon, may be completely new to you. Regardless, there will be plenty of action to keep you entertained throughout the Games.
For more information on the individual events, click on the links below to learn all about the different events you can watch during the Winter Olympic Games.
- Alpine Skiing: Includes downhill, slalom, Super-G, etc.
- Biathlon: Cross-country skiing combined with shooting.
- Bobsled: 2 person and 4 person competition.
- Cross-country skiing: Individual, team, and mass start competitions
- Curling: America’s favorite past time every four years.
- Figure Skating: Men’s, Women’s, Pairs, Dance, and Team competition.
- Freestyle Skiing: A more refined X-Games. Moguls and SlopeStyle are examples.
- Ice Hockey: No NHL players but still must-watch TV, especially on the women’s side.
- Luge: 90 MPH feet first with only a board between you and the track.
- Nordic combined: Combination of ski jumping and cross-country skiing.
- Short-track speed skating: Pure chaos on razor sharp blades.
- Skeleton: Luge except face first and slightly more psychotic.
- Ski jumping: Not for the faint of heart. Start really high, end on the ground.
- Snowboarding: Same as freestyle skiing with a snowboard.
- Speed skating: Big oval speed-skating, like running track.
The Olympics schedule varies on a day to day basis and our daily briefings will highlight what to watch on specific days. One guarantee is there will be plenty of action every day to keep you entertained.
The full schedule by day can be found here on the Olympics website but the photo below lays out the whole schedule from start to finish, including the opening and closing ceremonies.
How to Watch
Watching the Olympics in 2018 could not be any easier, whether it be through your cable package or streaming online.
NBC holds the rights to broadcast in the Olympics in the United States for almost the rest of eternity and they are taking full advantage of their family of channels.
Events will be live throughout the night and day across the NBC networks (NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and USA Network) or available streaming online at NBCOlympics.com.
Due to the major time zone difference between Pyeongchang and the United States, live events may take place at odd times here at home.
Every night, NBC will hold its traditional primetime broadcast beginning at 8:00 PM EST, featuring live events mixed in with replays from earlier in the day. Mike Tirico takes over as primetime host after Bob Costas stepped down from the role following the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
All information on watching the Games can be found here.
All live streaming information can be found here.
Daily television listings can be found right here.
A total of 95 nations will send athletes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics though not all will have their flag present.
Due to tension between North Korea and South Korea, a deal was struck between the two nations to allow North Korean athletes passage through the Korean DMZ to compete. Apart of the deal also stated that athletes both nations will compete as one country under the Korean Unification flag.
A state sponsored doping program saw the Russian Olympic Committee banned from participation in the 2018 Games but some athletes from Russia were approved for competition and will compete as the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).
Six countries will make their debut at the 2018 Games: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore.
The United States will have the largest athlete delegation with 244 athletes expected to compete.
Introducing Team USA
There may be some slight bias here at “The Bat Flip” for Team USA seeing that is our home country. As mentioned above, Team USA will be the largest athlete delegation at the 2018 Winter Olympics, featuring 244 athletes (135 men, 109 women) from 31 states.
All 15 events will have an American athlete participating at some stage.
Some Team USA athletes to watch during the 2018 Winter Olympics:
- Lindsey Vonn: Alpine skiing; 2010 gold medalist and favorite to win the women’s downhill.
- Mikaela Shiffrin: Alpine skiing; 2014 gold medalist and favorite in the slalom events.
- Nathan Chen: Figure skating; Gold medal contender in men’s individual competition.
- John Shuster: Curling; Skipper for men’s curling team.
- Jaelin Kauf: Freestyle skiing; Gold medal contender in women’s moguls.
- David Wise: Freestyle skiing; 2014 gold medalist and favorite to repeat in skiing halfpipe.
- Troy Terry: Ice Hockey; Will look to lead a NHL-less Team USA to a gold medal.
- Amanda Kessel: Ice Hockey; Hoping to finally get past Canada for a gold medal.
- Shani Davis: Speed skating; 2006 & 2010 gold medalist in 5th Olympic Games.
- Chloe Kim: Snowboarding; Favorite in women’s halfpipe.
- Maame Biney: Short-track speed skating; Best American hope for short-track medal
- Jamie Anderson: Snowboarding; 2014 gold medalist will look to repeat in slopestyle.
You can meet the entire Team USA roster right here.
If you’re a hardcore Olympic fan like myself who pays attention to the Games regardless if they are summer or winter, then you’ll see a bunch of familiar nations at the top of the Winter Olympics medal table but you’ll also see some names you may not normally see during the Summer Games.
The nature of the Winter Games opens opportunities for northern nations like Norway, Canada, and Austria but puts limits on countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Australia. The real winners are countries like the United States, Germany, and France who routinely find themselves high up on the medal table regardless of what Games are being held.
Russia finished 5th in the 2014 medal count (a games in which they hosted) but are expected to fall well short of that in 2018 as a result of penalties from a state sponsored doping scandal that saw several athletes banned from this year’s Games.
Nations to watch in 2018:
- Norway: Second in 2014 medal count and dominant across several events.
- United States: Led 2014 medal count and hold favorites in a number of events.
- Germany: Sixth in 2014 medal count and a powerhouse in the sliding sports.
- Canada: Third in 2014 medal count and filled with young talent across the board.
- Netherlands: Fourth in 2014 medal count and a powerhouse in speedskating.
- Austria: Seventh in 2014 medal count and strong on the slopes.
- South Korea: Playing host should inspire some medal winning performances.
The first medals of the 2018 Olympic Games will be awarded on Saturday in Biathlon, Cross country skiing, Short-track speed skating, Ski jumping, and Long-track speed skating.
You can keep tabs on the 2018 medal table right here.
Much like watching the Olympics, following Olympics related news in 2018 has never been easier. Traditional media mixed with new media makes your options almost limitless.
For up to second news and updates you can follow the official Olympics Twitter page.
If you’re strictly here for Team USA content then you can follow along on their Twitter page for the latest news and updates involving all American athletes.
A simple Google search for Olympic news will also bring you closer to the Games with results from news media throughout the world.
If you are more of a social media person, head to Twitter and search the hashtag #Olympics for the latest news from South Korea.
Of course remember to check back here at “The Bat Flip” for daily recaps and previews of what happened and what to watch going forward.
I mentioned above about our planned daily recaps and previews for each day of the 2018 Olympic Games but we also have a lot more planned over the next two weeks.
- Athlete Profiles
- Competition previews
- Updated medal results
- Event Explainers
- Much, much more
We are really excited about our Olympics content we have coming and we really hope you check back daily to see what we have in store.
Competition for the 2018 Winter Olympics got underway on Thursday but the official start of games will be on Friday with the Opening ceremonies set to take place in the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.
NBC will show a tape delayed version with commentary during primetime coverage beginning Friday night at 8:00 PM EST.
America’s favorite pastime every four years, Curling, will continue with its Mixed Doubles competition that can be streamed live online or seen on television later in the evening.
Training runs for Luge and Alpine skiing events will be live throughout the day.
Saturday will be the first day medals are awarded during the 2018 Winter Olympics but we’ll have more on that later.
That’s it! That is your official 2018 Winter Olympics preview from us here at “The Bat Flip.” We hope you keep coming back for more Olympics content throughout the entirety of the Games.
Now, get yourself in the mood for the greatest sports competition in the world with the official Olympic theme.