WINTER GAMES

Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts

Feb 8, 2018, 3:45 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:02 pm

PyeongChange 2018...

PyeongChange 2018

(CNN) — One of the coolest parts of the Olympics is watching history being made. Whether it’s a new country making their Olympic debut or groundbreaking athletes adding new faces and experiences to the Olympic story, it’s enough to get you feeling a little warm and fuzzy about humankind.

In fact, Pyeongchang is home to a few firsts itself:

  • This is the first Winter Games for South Korea (they had the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul).
  • The 2018 games marks a first for four Olympic events: big air snowboarding, big air freestyle skiing, mixed doubles curling, and mass start speedskating races.
  • With these new competitions, it’s no surprise this is also the first Winter Olympics with more than 100 medal events.

As the games kick off, here are some more neat Olympic firsts to watch for:

First Winter Olympics for six countries

Ecuador: Cross country skiing (Klaus Jungbluth)

Eritrea: Alpine skiing (Shannon-Ogbani Abeda)

Kosovo: Alpine skiing (Albin Tahiri)

Malaysia: Alpine skiing (Jeffrey Webb)

Singapore: Short track speed skating (Cheyenne Goh)

Nigeria: Women’s bobsled team and skeleton (Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga and Simidele Adeagbo)

Nigerian athletes are having an especially big year. Their women’s bobsled team is the first African bobsled team at the Winter Olympics. And Adeagbo, the skeleton athlete, is the first female skeleton slider from Africa to qualify for the Olympics.

First time representations

First openly gay US athletes in the Winter Olympics: Gus Kenworthy (freestyle skiing) and Adam Rippon (figure skating).

READ MORE: Adam Rippon speaks out against Mike Pence

First indigenous Australian to compete in the Winter Olympics: Harley Windsor (figure skating)

First Orthodox Jewish athlete: A.J. Edelman, who is also Israel’s first Olympic skeleton slider.

First Vatican delegation: Though it won’t send any athletes, this is the first year a delegation from the Vatican has been invited to the opening ceremony and will attend the IOC’s general meeting in an observational role.

Firsts for national athletes

First Tongan to qualify for both summer and winter games (and Tonga’s only representative this year): Pita Taufatofua, who will be competing in cross-country skiing. You probably remember him from when his bare, oily torso won the opening ceremonies at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. This time around, he’ll probably be a little more bundled up.

First skeleton athlete from Ghana, and the ONLY African man competing in the Winter Olympics: Akwasi Frimpong

First skeleton athlete from Jamaica: Anthony Watson

First black women to qualify for the US Olympic speedskating team: Erin Jackson and Maame Biney

First female Jamaican bobsled team: Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell

First black US hockey player in the Olympics: Jordan Greenway

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Related:

KSL 5 TV Live

Winter Games

A general view of downtown Salt Lake City at night during the Salt Lake Winter Olympics on February...

Alex Cabrero

21,000 hotel rooms committed for potential 2034 Olympics in SLC

There is something about staying in a hotel with a brand you've stayed at before.

26 days ago

Volunteers like Donna Gunn are one of the many reasons why Utah is in the running to host another W...

Alex Cabrero

Volunteers are the success behind Utah’s Olympic venues

There is something about seeing a familiar face that often just makes things better.

1 month ago

Alf Engen Ski Museum news conference in Park City on Thursday...

Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News

‘We will be ready’ to host 2030 Winter Games, French official tells Utah’s Olympic bidders

The leader of one of the French Alps regions poised to stage the 2030 Winter Games has no doubt his country can pull it off, dismissing the idea that Salt Lake City, the preferred host for 2034, could be asked to step up sooner.

2 months ago

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)...

Debbie Worthen and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Utah leaders face uphill battle on clean air before 2034 Olympic Games

Part of Utah's agreement with IOC requires clean air for the Olympic Games in 2034 if Salt Lake is to host. Leaders have ambitious plans for the next decade in attempt to make it happen.

3 months ago

A picture of Powder, the official Olympic mascot in 2002, who was played by Heather Mickey, picture...

Mary Culbertson and Andrew Adams, KSL TV

2002 Olympic mascot reflects on her time as Powder after big announcement

An official Olympic mascot looks back on her time during the Games in 2002, and talks about what excites her for 2034.

3 months ago

The news of the Winter Games coming to Salt Lake City in 2034 was huge for young Utah athletes with...

Dan Rascon

Young athletes excited, looking forward to 2034 Olympics

The news of the Winter Games coming to Salt Lake City in 2034 was huge for young Utah athletes with Olympic dreams on their mind.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts