[Olympics] By the numbers: records, stats of Winter Games
|Singaporean short track speek skater Cheyenne Goh, right in the back row, poses with her coach ChunLee-kyung and teammates at The Rink in the JCube shopping mall in Singapore, Tuesday. / Yonhap|
By Yi Whan-woo
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics will have noteworthy records and stats on top of its record-breaking numbers of 2,925 athletes from 92 countries.
Twelve countries -- Austria, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and the United States -- will join the 23rd Winter Games, consecutively participating in the quadrennial sporting event since it was inaugurated in 1924 in Chamonix, France, according to the organizing committee, Tuesday.
Six other countries -- Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore -- will make their Winter Olympics debut.
Ecuador will compete in cross-country skiing while both Eritrea and Kosovo will do so in Alpine skiing, Nigeria in bobsled and skeleton, and Singapore in short track speed skating.
The U.S. will send 242 athletes -- 135 men and 107 women -- making it the largest Winter Olympics team of any nation in history.
The country held the record of 222 competitors at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
|Members of the Nigerian Olympic team dance during a welcome ceremony inside the PyeongChangOlympic village prior to the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, Tuesday. / Yonhap|
Meanwhile, 18 countries will be represented by a single athlete. One-athlete delegations will account for nearly 20 percent of the 92 participating countries. These 18 are Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Cyprus, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Puerto Rico, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, Timor-Leste and Tonga.
From the Ghanaian side will be Akwasi Frimpong, 31, who will be the second African male to compete in Olympic skeleton after Tyler Botha of South Africa in 2006.
In PyeongChang, Simidele Adeagbo of Nigeria will compete as Africa's first female Olympic skeleton racer.
Shannon-Ogbnai Abeda, 21, will represent Eritrea in men's Alpine skiing after being born in Canada to Eritrean parents who arrived there as refugees in the 1980s.
Cheyenne Goh, 18, a Singaporean short track speed skater, will be the country's first athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics. She is also the first-ever short-track speed skater from Southeast Asia.
Her coach is Chun Lee-kyung, a four-time Korean Olympic champion in the 1990s.
A record 102 medals will be awarded in 15 sports at the PyongChang Olympics slated from Feb. 9 to 25.
With its first Winter Games, Korea will become the world's eighth country to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics after the U.S. , Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Canada.
Korea is also set to join a group of six countries to host the FIFA World Cup (2002), World Championships in Athletics (2011), Summer (1988) and Winter Olympics.
The other five countries are France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.
The Olympic torch relay, which will soon wrap up its 101-day run nationwide, has covered 2,018 kilometers, referring to the year.
A total of 7,500 runners have already participated in or are scheduled to join the relay. This number represents the approximately 75 million people living in the two Koreas, with the hope that the PyeongChang Olympics will become an opportunity for cross-border reconciliation.