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The Olympics and Paralympics bring out the best in people, and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are no exception.
As athletes set aside their countries’ differences and test themselves against the best of the best, a sense of mutual respect puts everyone on a level playing field. And that can make for some inspirational, funny and heart-warming moments.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games are on now, in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The location is very significant. South Korea and North Korea are not on friendly terms. But the Olympics may be bringing them closer together, politically.
North Korea is a “dictatorship.” That means, one person rules it. That person is Kim Jong-un, known as the “Supreme Leader.” He is known for being extremely strict and harsh with his country’s people. He keeps his country separated from the rest of the world. It is usually hard to know what is going on in North Korea, because free communication is not allowed in or out of the country.
But the Winter Olympics may help to thaw relations between North and South Korea.
The Paralympic Games are running from Sept. 7 to 18 in Rio de Janeiro (known as “Rio”), Brazil.
More than 170 nations have athletes competing in the Paralympic Games.
The Paralympic Games follow the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which took place in Rio from Aug. 5 to 21.
Yesterday was golden for Canada’s female Olympians.
In one of the most exciting hockey games ever played, the Canadian women’s team took the top prize. It was a clash between long-time rivals US and Canada, the best versus the best.
The American women had a solid 2-0 lead going into the third period. But with less than four minutes to go, Canada’s Brianne Jenner put the puck past American goalie Jessie Vetter. The score was 2-1.
The Olympics are about athletics and competition.
However, with representatives from so many different countries coming together in one city, it is often about “politics” and “political issues” as well.
In other words, different countries have different rules, laws and beliefs.
Sometimes, countries’ beliefs clash.
That has been the case in Russia at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
On Saturday, Mark McMorris won Canada’s first medal at the 2014 Olympics–a bronze in snowboarding.
That was quickly followed up by two more medals for Canada: Justine Dufour-Lapointe won Canada’s first gold and her sister, Chloe, earned Canada’s first silver medal.
McMorris is a native from Regina, Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan is known for having very flat terrain, yet McMorris was determined to be a world-class snowboarder.
The eyes of the world are on Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympics are taking place.
Last Friday, the official opening ceremony took the audience on a Russian journey. It began with the Russian alphabet, with each of the 33 letters highlighting a famous Russian person or achievement.
Later, the athletes flooded into the stadium, grouped according to country. Canada, with 220 athletes, has one of the largest teams in this year’s winter Olympics. The Canadians came into the stadium, a sea of red, behind flag-bearer Hayley Wickenheiser.
“It’s an amazing feeling being able to carry the flag and lead in this awesome powerful Team Canada,” Hayley Wickenheiser told CBC News. “I’m a very, very proud Canadian right now. It’s great to be Canadian in moments like this; you realize how lucky we are to live where we live. I hope everyone back home is proud and enjoys the games.”