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What the 2018 Olympic Ceremony means to Koreans

Bob Trosset

What the 2018 Olympic Ceremony means to Koreans

Last night, the small province of PyeongChang took the world by storm as it hosted the Opening Ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

It is well-documented by now that the Koreans have placed a major emphasis on the theme of unity and its signifance surrounding the Games.

On this night, though, unity seemed to be much more than just a theme.

Mid-way through the ceremony, Olympians from all 92 countries began to make the coveted walk out to the roars of the Olympic Stadium, each led by an esteemed flag bearer.

There were plenty of memorable moments to keep the internet busy.

The Nigerians are represented by their bobsled team for the first time in the country’s history.

The Russians entered the stadium led by a neutral Olympic flag hoisted in the air. They sported plain white uniforms with no sign of the country’s flag. This, of course, is a direct result of Russia’s doping scandal.

Pita, the shirtless Tongan who took social media by storm at Rio’s Closing Ceremony nearly two years ago, makes his Winter Olympics debut in cross-country skiing.

He carried his country’s flag out while shirtless and in sandals, naturally.

The USA broke a Winter Olympic record qualifying a grand total of 242 athletes. Erin Hamlin served as flag bearer.

The defining moment of the Opening Ceremony came when the 92nd and final team made its historic march.

The North and South Koreans entered the stadium under one unified flag. Together.

As conflicted Koreans digested this powerful gesture, the rest of the world was introduced to North Korean civilians in the most epic of ways.

I had a chance to take all of this in with several of my new local Korean friends.

This is what I tweeted during the ceremony:

“Both North & South Koreans marching together. Hard to describe this moment. My new Korean friends I’m with are completely silent. Taking in every second. Hands covering their mouths. #OpeningCeremony”

Historic. Surreal. Emotional. Captivating. The 2018 Winter Olympics.

Buckle up. It’s about to be a magical 18 days at PyeongChang 2018.

Consider following along while I’m on the ground:

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Add me on Snapchat: Bobbytrosset

Natasha Cloud turns heads Friday night, sinks buzzer-beater to lift Mystics past Sparks

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Natasha Cloud turns heads Friday night, sinks buzzer-beater to lift Mystics past Sparks

Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud burst onto Friday night's sports scene converting a floater that beat the buzzer lifting her team past the Los Angeles Sparks, 69-67. 

The win came during the team's regular-season finale at Capital One Arena and assured head coach Mike Thibault's squad a third-place finish or better. In order to lock up second place, the Mystics have to win Sunday and need Atlanta (22-11) to lose to Las Vegas. 

The Mystics play one more game before playoffs Sunday in Minneapolis against the Lynx at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN 2. 

Cloud is a big reason why the Mystics have won eight straight games to tie a franchise record for wins in a season. 

"This is a championship team. This is a championship team and we're about to speak it into existence," Cloud told Christy Winters-Scott and Frank Hanrahan on Monumental Sports Network. 


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Katie Ledecky's impact away from competition at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

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Katie Ledecky's impact away from competition at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are officially under two years away, which will mark Japan's fourth time hosting the Games. 

Just this week wrapped up the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships from Tokyo serving as a preview for not only next year's world championships, but the 2020 Games itself. 

21-year-old American swimming phenom Katie Ledecky continued to make her dominant presence felt finishing with three individual gold medals (400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle races) in the meet.  The 1,500-meter wasn't even close. 

What she did with her time away from competition, though, was just as impactful. 

The Washington, D.C. native held a Sports Diplomacy swimming clinic in Setagaya Ward. This will be the site of Team USA training camps ahead of Tokyo 2020. 

The U.S. Department of State thanked Ledecky for "deepening US-Japan cultural bonds & educational exchanges." 

So far Ledecky has won five Olympic gold medals and 14 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer. 

2019 World Swimming Championships are set to be held in Gwangju, South Korea next July.