The 23rd Winter Olympics 2018 has finally kicked-off amongst much cheer and vigour. Although the temperature was freezing but the spirits were high. The organizers have termed it the biggest Winter Olympics so far with the participation of over 92 nations. The delegations from both North and South Korea marched under one flag representing the Korean Peninsula. This reignited the hopes of a united Korean peninsula in the minds of many, as the athletes from two nations marched together just 50 km from the heavily guarded border. Although politics was not brought to the table by all the delegations, however, some events couldn’t be ignored or brushed under the rug.
The younger sister of the North Korean ruler, Kim Jong Un was present at the ceremony, the first ever such visit by the North’s ruling dynasty. She was sitting close to US Vice President Mike Pence and father of Otto Warmbier. The US had in the past week threatened North Korea of the toughest sanctions against any charm offensive put up by latter.
Other notable events were the participation of the Russian athletes ignoring the ban after a doping scam. Also, the participation of Nigeria is seen for the first time ever. To add to the distractions, there is a deadly outbreak of highly contagious norovirus whose spread is seen from security personnel to other Olympic workers. Although, US delegation has reiterated to South Korean President Moon Jae-in that the ties should be curtailed after the Games, but President Moon is hopeful of having an Olympics of peace and has placed the Games at the centre of his efforts to engage North proactively and negotiate with it to curtail its nuclear and ballistic missile program.
Another stirring moment was the revelation of penultimate torchbearers being from North Korea for the unified hockey team and a South Korean player. It is hoped that the Games will prove as a milestone in the politics of the region