Although the official Opening Ceremony does not occur until Friday morning (6 a.m. EST), the 2018 Winter Olympics have softly begun in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Mixed Doubles Curling – which includes a team featuring one man and one woman – is a new addition to the Games and one of the first events this year. In one of the preliminary matches Wednesday night, Wisconsin siblings and United States Olympic athletes, Becca and Matt Hamilton (#HamFam), won the United States’ first match against two athletes from OAR, a new section of competitor in the Games this year.
OAR stands for “Olympic Athletes from Russia” who have chosen to compete individually. Russia is barred from partaking in the 2018 Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to a doping scandal involving athletes taking illegal drugs to enhance their performances during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. After an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency, results confirming the alleged drug use were released in mid 2016, just as many Russian athletes competed in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.
The IOC cracked down for this year’s Olympic Games, barring many athletes found to be involved with the scandal. However, the IOC has granted 169 athletes from Russia permission to compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. These athletes will be represented by the Olympic flag and have “OAR” on all of their uniforms. In the event of winning a Medal, they will be accompanied by the Olympic theme song at the podium.