Welcome to Pyeongchang

As the kick-off to the Pyeongchang Games gets underway, I'd like to revisit a post I wrote for DipNote, the U.S. Department of State's blog*, on the evolution of the Winter Games. Full post is here, but one interesting snippet:

1924_2 Chamonix.png
The father of the modern Olympic movement, Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin, wanted the Olympics to incorporate as wide an athletic field as possible. Games played on snow or ice, however, initially presented a challenge. By 1909, technological advances enabled the production of artificial ice. Yet, de Coubertin felt that it was unrealistic to expect science to produce artificial snow of sufficient quality and quantity to last long enough to permit ski competitions over multiple days.

Snow blowing in 1909: who knew?


We've come a long way since that first wintertime Olympiad when U.S. figure skater Beatrix Loughran was one of 11 female competitors. My recent VICE Sports piece on when U.S. women ruled the Winter Games illustrates points of progress. But, as I wrote last year for CNN International, even today elite female ski racers often have to put up with older stereotypes and cultural attitudes towards age, gender, and sport.

Who will win, take our breath away, and become a legend in 2018? Strap on your seatbelt, we're about to find out!

* Disclaimer: All views are my own and do not represent those of my former employer past or present.