February 9, 2018 was the first day of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and I have so many memories of my 10 days in Korea.
.…how cold it was – minus 10 degrees centigrade with a wind chill of “can’t-feel-my-face” degrees. And yet, as if cooperating with the Gods of Olympia, no snow fell, no winds blew, and no need for all the heat packs I brought with me to the stadium.
…how astounded I was when Pita Taufatofua the shirtless Tongan and his oil-slick torso came striding in with his nation’s flag…apparently too hot to notice the cold.
…how Trump made an appearance and the Olympics great again.
…how confusing it was, in those early days when the bus operators were moving the bus stops and changing the times, making me 100 minutes late for a ski jump competition despite leaving 90 minutes early.
…how nice it was to grab a burger at USA House and McDonalds, which was taking a bow at its last Olympics as a sponsor.
…how surprised I was to note that Korea had to import zamboni drivers.
…how enthusiastic the North Korea cheering squad were – their synchronized movements, the sameness of their uniforms and faces, their enthusiastic cheers and singing – they were the must-take photo op of the event.
…how young Koreans clamored for unification with song and dance while old Koreans clamored for a nuclear strike on North Korea.
…how thrilling short track skating is.
…how cool it is to meet some of the legends of Olympic history.
…how K-Pop girls can warm up a biathlon competition in freezing temperatures.
…how incredibly athletic figure skaters can be.
…how much more amazing, I thought, it’s going to be in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics!
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