Not only are the Olympic Games a time to celebrate and recognize athletes from different countries, but they are also an opportunity for ordinary people from all around the world to come together and interact with one another. Whether they are from Europe, the Americas, Africa or Asia, the experiences of these foreigners may vary, but what connects them is the shared sense of joy and pride felt during the many emotional moments of the Olympics.
As a foreigner living in Korea, I was so proud of the work Korea did to host the Olympics. I thought they did a great job! Volunteers were so friendly and the cultural centers in the Olympic Villages and at the different event sites were amazing. Our friends visiting from the states were really impressed. They couldn’t believe how efficient things were and how cheap it was. For example, the shuttle buses to and from events were free. It was free to park and very easy to find parking. We were given lots of free gifts as well such as free Men’s Downhill tickets for dressing in hanboks. In [the]Olympic Village, they had a nice set-up so people could learn about Korean food, and they had samples. We even got a bag full of free Korean traditional snack food. Overall, it was a very good experience!
One of the best parts of the Olympics is just the positive, encouraging energy from the crowd. I think you become extra proud of your country. I’m from Canada, and we have a lot of amazing athletes, so it was really nice to see people supporting the Canadian athletes even though it’s very far away from home [here]. As Canadians, we’ve always had a focus on helping young athletes, and it really shows that we care about sports and physical activity. For instance, the Canadian government, as well as other organizations, has a lot of initiatives that try to find and promote rising athletes. Through these programs, we were able to help more people and improve [collectively], with this progress being shown from Vancouver 2010 to PyeongChang this year.
My experience at the Pyeongchang Olympics was great. I had a lot of fun attending events and just roaming around the general area, which was filled with people from all over the world. I think the highlight of my trip was the men’s hockey game. Although I’ve watched Olympic hockey games in the past on television, it was really different being there in person and watching the players on the ice right in front of me. I was really amazed by the level of speed and athleticism all the players displayed. Though it could get a little aggressive sometimes, for the most part everyone was calm and collected, passing in a self-assured, efficient way. Other than that, I just enjoyed staying in PyeongChang and relaxing for a few days.