Winter Games 2018 : Ireland returned empty-handed from South Korea

Winter Games 2018

After two weeks of competitions in South Korea – from February 9th to 25th – the 2018 Winter Olympics have kept all their promises. If Norway is the big winner of this edition with a record, the Irish returned once again empty-handed.

Winter Olympics. An event that often goes unnoticed in entire areas. Stuck between Super Bowl, Champions League, and a big jet lag, the two weeks in Pyeongchang were still followed and very intense. With 39 medals, Norway is the big winner of this edition. Fourteen gold, fourteen silver and eleven bronze, the Scandinavians have just broken the record of the history of Winter Olympics, until then owned by the United States with 37 charms in Vancouver in 2010.

With Marit Bjoergen’s title on the women’s 30km cross-country ski race on the last Sunday of the competition, Norway improves by one additional unit the medal record for one country, already beaten the day before. New medal record, Olympic stars in power, despite this, Ireland has failed to bring back a single medal from Korea.


Olympic Ireland has tried everything

On the Irish side, no medals but great performances. Five athletes were lined up. Only to represent Ireland at the games in Sochi (Russia), in 2014, Seamus O’Connor was of course the greatest medal chance for the team clover. Tuesday 13th of February, he was lying 13th at the half-way point, just 1.25 points off the top 12 to go through to the final. But when he threw in his toughest trick in the second round, the American-born failed to improve on his first round score of 65.50. O’Connor finished 18th of the 29-man final. A bad place compared to his last Winter Games.

Two Irish alpine skiers were also present in South Korea. Tess Arbez, born in France, and Patrick McMillan, from Letterkenny, in Donegal, impressed with their performance. The first one finished 50th in her favorite giant slalom event. She surpassed that step with a 46th place finish in a slalom on a field of 78. Pat’ McMillan finished 52nd in the downhill, also improved to a 48th place in the super G (a discipline of alpine skiing).

Great performance also for Thomas Westgaard, the only cross-country skier to represent Ireland in South Korea. The athlete, from Norway, finished 63rd in his third event: the 15km Freestyle. He is also pleased to have won thirteen places in his first ranking.

Brendan Newby was two places in qualifying for the final, scoring 53.80. And for good reason, the native of Cork has fallen in the second round of men’s halfpipe skiing. The 21-year-old, who grew up in Utah, had to settle for 22nd place.


Meanwhile, appointments are made in Tokyo in two years for the summer Olympics.

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