2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

The 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics is just around the corner.  Slated to run from February 9th to the 25th, this year’s contest will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  If you are a fan of the games or are just curious about the different sports and athletes, you will certainly want to check out a set of three important websites – the official Olympics page, the host page, and the NBC broadcast page.  There are also pages set-up by the sport governing bodies as well as team pages for different countries participating in the games.  Of course, MCLS also has a good selection of books and other media to help you understand the different sports or gain an historic perspective on the games.

First, let us look at the key websites you will want to consult to make the most of your viewing time.  The Olympic organization has a page covering the games with feature stories, a medal count table, full schedule, and results and highlight videos.  Note this site is a sub-site of the regular Olympic organization site, so you can jump to the history section to see information about all past games, both winter and summer, as well as information on all the sports contested at the winter and summer games.  The full page has plenty of places to explore not only the history of the games, but how they are governed and how cities bid to become a host.

There is also an official host site that is maintained by the South Korea host committee that covers many of the same topics that the Olympic organization site covers, but it will focus on just these games with less of the history and governance information.  Keep in mind the site is designed to help spectators at the games as well as home viewers, so the schedules are in Korean Standard Time and there is extra information on the site about cultural areas to visit, public transit schedules, and other information that would be useful to visitors at the events.  This does give the site a neat appeal since the Olympics have always been a cultural festival as well as a sports festival.  Most TV viewers are not aware that each host city also puts on a series of cultural events such as live performing arts, art galleries and history exhibitions.

For the best information about TV schedules or to watch live events on your computer, turn to the NBC Olympics page, where you will find just about everything from the official U.S. broadcaster of the games.  While the feature stories will be mostly American-centric, the live feeds are supposed to cover all contests as they happen, so you can check in on how the Nigerian bobsled team is doing in the qualifying runs.

Moving on to the official events and teams, there are even more sites you can follow if you just want to keep tabs on a few sports or countries.  Each Olympic sport is overseen by a sport-specific governing body, such as the IIHF for ice hockey, ISU for figure and speed skating, or WCF for curling.  To find more sports, try searching the internet for “international governing body {sport}” where sport is the name of the sport, like bobsled (note, this sport in particular seems to draw non-traditional winter sport countries, with Nigeria debuting a women’s team this year).  The same can be done to find sites for teams representing different countries, try searching for “{country name} official Olympic team”.  The U.S. is run by the USOC, with similar sites for Canada, Great Britain, and Finland.

If you want to read about the games or catch a movie about past events, we have plenty in our catalog for you to choose from, including titles for children and adults.  You can also browse the 790s at your local branch to find more about specific sports.  Some highlights include:


The World of Olympics by Nick Hunter, a children’s book that is ideal for educating youngsters about the origin of the games and the global reach of the games; includes a history of each Olympiad and highlights star athletes that have performed in those games.


The Real Olympics is a DVD of a PBS series from 2004 that covered the history of the games as they returned to their birthplace in Athens for the 2004 Summer Games.  The two hour documentary shows the ancient games and how they have been revived into the modern iteration.



Miracle is a feature film starring Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks, the legendary coach of the U.S. gold medal-winning hockey team.  The film is timely given that this year will be the first in 20 years that the Olympic hockey tournament will not include professional players from the NHL, giving a whole host of relatively unknown players a chance to shine on the world stage.


The Games by David Goldblatt hit shelves just in time for the Rio Summer Games in 2016.  The book goes beyond a simple retelling of the history of the games to include some of the lesser-known aspects of the modern Olympics.  Goldblatt includes information on the rough start that eventually led to the games, how war veterans drew attention to the need for the Paralympics, the fight for equality in women’s sports, and the various political upheavals that marred the games during the World Wars and Cold War.  (For a dramatized version of the origins of the Paralympics, check out the BBC2 movie The Best of Men.)

- Laura N., Information Technology

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