The Olympics are something I always look forward to.
It’s an interesting time of athletic feats and political relations with a dash of scandals mixed in.
This year’s winter Olympics, held in PyeongChang, South Korea, are especially significant because North and South Korea came together to compete as one team.
This diplomatic advance could mean a huge breakthrough for the two countries, but not every country is having a good time.
A major controversy this year is the Russian doping and how the country isn’t allowed to compete.
Russia has the most medals lost from being caught using athletic performance-enhancing drugs during the Olympic games.
This year was especially bad, causing the International Olympic Committee to ban the country and only allow a few individuals to compete.
Russia typically proves to be a strong competitor at the Winter Olympics.
With them out of the way, is it easier for other countries to win?
Do other world superpowers like the U.S. and China have an unfair advantage?
What will this mean for our diplomatic relations?
These are all valid concerns, that only time can answer.
Another issue with this year’s Olympics is the Korean dog meat trade.
The consumption of dog meat may be a huge taboo for most Western cultures, but it is still alive in others.
Eating dog meat is less common among younger Koreans and is becoming less prevalent every year. However, it does still happen.
Activist groups have shown some of the treatment of these dogs in the trade and have pushed for South Korea to at least temporarily suspend the practice during the Olympics. South Korea closed its largest dog meat market, but for many it isn’t enough.
It would be nice if the Olympics could truly be a time of coming together for friendly competition, but in reality, politics will always make its way in.
The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics were full of controversies, and I am sure more will come up regarding PyeongChang.
I wish it was a time everyone could set their differences aside and focus on the athletes and their accomplishments, but unfortunately, it seems they might be overshadowed once again.