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Review: Winter Olympics 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympic games held in Pyeongchang have recently come to an end with Australian athletes leaving with familiar medal count results from previous years.

Competing across ten events, Australia was able to win medals in nearly a third of all events, returning with two silver medals, one bronze but no gold.

Skier Matt Graham took home Australia’s first silver medal of the games, snowboarder Jarryd Hughes followed suit with Australia’s second silver medal and snowboarder Scott James managed to score bronze.

(The moment Matt Graham secures a silver medal)

Australia’s overall performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics is familiar in a way of results, with exactly the same medal count from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

When observing Australia’s past performance results, it is important to note that Australia has never won more than three medals at a Winter Olympic Games, a record which has still not changed.

However, the overall medal tally should not be a complete reflection of Australia’s overall performance.

To many, the concept of a gold medal and the amount of medals won defines a nation’s success. While the Australian athletes may not have won a gold medal, their determination to perform well in representing their country showcased the Olympic spirit of aiming to deliver the best results possible.

A team of 50 athletes was selected for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, ten less than the previous Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, which was the largest Winter Olympics team the country had ever sent.

Not only was there a variation in the number of competitors but also in the number of sports that the Australian athletes competed in. In 2014, athletes competed in 11 sports whereas this year only saw ten events feature Australians.

Despite the variation in numbers, the 2018 Winter Olympics Australian team appeared to be just the strongest yet with the likes of Scott James (snowboarding), Britteny Cox (skiing), Lydia Lassila (aerials), Matt Graham (moguls), Alex Pullin (snowboard cross), David Morris (aerials), Tess Coady (snowboarding), Belle Brockhoff (snowboard cross), Danielle Scott (freestyle skiing) and Adam Lambert (snowboard cross).

These athletes were nominated as the top ten athletes to watch prior to the event and they certainly put on a performance for all. They may have not finished with the results that fulfilled fan expectations, but each  athlete gave a crowd-pleasing effort.

Our favourite athletes were expected to achieve gold, but small mishaps, taking too many risks, injuries and heavy competition interfered with these expectations.

In 2018, Australia ranked 23rd on the medal tally, just one place above the 2014 Australian team. In earlier years such as 1994 and 1998 Australia ranked 22nd on the medal tally before moving up the list over the years of 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Four years leaves plenty of room for improvements in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, where the Australian Winter Olympic team will be looking to bounce back and score an elusive fourth medal.

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