The Winter Olympics get underway in South Korea
Written by Ethan Lowerson-Marshall on 9th February 2018
The Winter Olympics have officially opened in Pyeongchang, South Korea – to huge cheers.
North and South Korea showed a sign of unity despite heightened tensions – with their athletes marching together under one flag.
Great Britain brought the majority of their record 59-strong squad to the opening ceremony inside the Olympic Stadium.
Katie Ormerod, considered a medal contender in both snowboard slopestyle and Big Air, missed the event due to a heel injury sustained in training on Thursday, which casts some doubt on her chances in the competition.
Arguably Team GB’s best medal hope is Elise Christie who also didn’t attending the opening ceremony as she’s busy preparing for her opening 500m short-track heats the following day.
Overall Great Britain and Northern Ireland are aiming for at least four medals from the games to match their current record winter games haul.
Three athletes from the North East are taking part in the winter games in Pyeongchang.
South Shields lass, Amanda Lightfoot will take part in the Biathlon, and has been selected as Team GB’s only athlete to compete in this event.
Amanda started skiing through the military in 2006 and two years was competing internationally.
Freestyle skiing hopeful Emily Sarsfield has been the top ranked British female throughout her career with eight national titles.
Emily, from Brancepeth a village in County Durham, started skiing competitively here in Sunderland at the dry ski slope in Silksworth.
The final North East winter athlete is 24 year old Mica McNeill, who competes in Bobsleigh.
Mica from Consett has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to help her team get to the games, after her funding was cut.
Images from PA/Press Association.