2018 OLYMPICS

Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts

Feb 8, 2018, 3:45 PM | Updated: 10:35 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

Top Stories

2018 Olympics

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17:  Nathan Chen of the United States competes during the Men's S...
alex cabrero

SLC Olympian May Understand Pressure Felt By Simone Biles More Than Most

Most people will never know the pressure Olympic athletes are under to perform but Nathan Chen does.
1 year ago
Solitude Mountain Resort, April 8, 2013....
Sean Moody

Young skiers mark end of season with pointers from Olympic gold medalist

About 50 children got some skiing tips from Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety at Solitude Mountain Resort
5 years ago
Thousands of people stood on both sides of Main Street to cheer and say congratulations....
Alex Cabrero

Parade of Olympians marches through Park City

Thousands of people stood on both sides of Main Street to cheer and say congratulations, especially to those home grown stars from Park City.
5 years ago
Michael Phelps, 32, opened up about his years-long battle with depression to David Axelrod on "The ...
Haley Draznin, Producer

Michael Phelps calls on US Olympic Committee to do more to help athletes struggling with depression

The most decorated Olympian of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps rewrote sports history. But his journey to 28 Olympic medals did not come without challenge. Even in the midst of Olympic perfection, the athlete grappled with mental health issues.
5 years ago
Conor Lyne was the flag bearer for Ireland in 2014....
Alex Cabrero

Retired Olympic skier encourages current Olympians to pursue their passion beyond sports

Looking back now, four years later, Conor Lyne can't believe it. Still to this day, probably the best experience I've ever had,” said Lyne. Lyne competed for Ireland as a ski racer during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
5 years ago
...
Andrew Wittenberg

Sights and sounds of South Korea

The KSL team wraps up Olympic coverage with a look back at South Korea's culture.
5 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts