Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Face Uphill Battle For Success

Third placed Jessica Diggins of the US competes the Women's 10 km pursuit free during the cross country FIS World cup Tour de Ski event on January 1, 2018 in Lenzerheide. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

The 2018 Winter Olympics is set to begin on February 8, with Pyeongchang, South Korea, given the honour of hosting the event.

Four new disciplines have been added to this edition, joining the regular action loved and enjoyed by winter sports fans.

Big air snowboarding will be featured alongside freestyle skiing, as mass-start speedskating and mixed doubles curling are included.

The competition will be held across 13 venue sites, with the full-event schedule available via the 2018 Pyeongchang Games official website.

Here is a breakdown of the start date of each event:

                 

Thursday, Feb. 8

Curling

Ski Jumping

       

Friday, Feb. 9

Opening ceremony

Figure Skating

Freestyle Skiing

       

Saturday, Feb. 10

Biathlon

Cross-country skiing 

Ice Hockey 

Luge

Short-Track Speedskating

Speedskating

Snowboard

         

Thursday, Feb. 15

Skeleton

Freestyle Skiing

          

Sunday, Feb. 18

Bobsleigh

           

Sunday, Feb. 25

Closing Ceremony

               

Early Medal Favourites

After winning the most golds and individual medals at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia were due to battle Norway, Canada, United States and Germany for supremacy once again.

According to BBC Sport, the Russians took home 13 gold medals after a stellar performance at Sochi 2014.

Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

However, Russia’s Olympic Committee has been banned from the forthcoming event due to a huge doping punishment delivered by the International Olympic Committee.

Sean Ingle of the Guardian reported the country would be absent in South Korea, but a number of Russian athletes might be able to feature as independent entrants.

The Germans are well placed to grab top spot at the 2018 Winter Games, with Felix Loch dominating the men's luge since 2010.

Loch has sat at the top of the World Cup standings in 2017 but will face a stiff challenge from Austrian star Wolfgang Kindl.

Elise Christie (C) of Great Britain leads a group during the women's 500m final event at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating in Seoul on November 18, 2017.
 / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je        (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)JUNG YEON-JE/Getty Images

The presence of short-track speedskater Elise Christie could see Great Britain jump up the medal rankings, with the Scottish genius a current world champion.

Christie won gold in the 1,000 metres and 1,500 metres at the World Championship, while also taking bronze in the 3,000 metres.

The United States will be looking for Jessie Diggins to provide success in the cross-country skiing event, with the reigning world champion joined by teammates Sadie Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell.

(From L) Second placed Heidi Weng of Norway, winner Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway and third placed Jessica Diggins of the US celebrate during the podium ceremony for the Women's 10 km pursuit free during the cross country FIS World cup Tour de Ski eFABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

Diggins has become a genuine legend in the sport, and a medal will be her minimum requirement in South Korea.

However, she has the style and class to take the gold, cementing her undoubted place in winter sports history.

The National Hockey League has banned its players from featuring in Pyeongchang, severely affecting the United States' chances of ice hockey gold. 

The U.S. will be hoping established athletes in other disciplines will protect their medal haul at the forthcoming competition.

Team USA collected 28 medals at the previous Winter Olympics in Russia, including nine golds.

Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2752396-2018-winter-olympics-event-schedule-and-early-favorites-to-win-most-medals

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