The Olympics have a history rooted in ancient times dating back to when the Greeks competed for sport in Olympia. People prepare for the Olympics every four years, and the significance of the Games continues to ring true to this day. Viewers set aside time to watch the games, and many athletes plan their career around the possibility of Olympic competition.
South Korea first hosted the Olympics in the summer of 1988 in Seoul. This year, the Winter Olympics were hosted in Pyeongchang. Hosting the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has been a long time in the making. In 2010 and 2014, Pyeongchang hoped to host the event but Vancouver won the bids in 2010, followed by Sochi in 2014.
The 2018 Winter Olympics were held in Pyeongchang over a period of 17 days in the Mountain Cluster and Gangneung Coastal Cluster. In total, the events were held at 13 locations.
Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games: Details and Victories
Following the opening ceremony on February 9, 2018, there were a number of unexpected victories and defeats. Here are a few of the main details surrounding this year’s Winter Games:
- There were 102 events in 15 sports.
- 2,922 athletes participated in the events. Of these athletes, 1,680 were men and 1,242 were women.
- There were 92 Olympic Committees.
- At the end of the event:
- Norway took home the most medals – a total of 39.
- Germany won 31 medals.
- Canada held 29 medals.
- The United States finished in fourth place with 23 medals.
The total costs of preparations in combination with the venues totaled at $12.5 billion. While this sounds expensive, these costs are more reasonable in comparison to the games in Sochi, which costs $50 billion.
Mascots and Memories
Mascots promote more than brand recognition and sales. They lift our spirits and make the games more fun, taking the edge away from the competitive nature of sports. A mascot also encourages unity because all fans love their character and appearance.
A Soohorang and the Bandabi were the mascots for the games. The Soohorang is the white tiger and the Asiatic black bear is the Bandabi, and both mascots have sacred contexts in Korean history and myth. White tigers are considered to be gentle, brave animals that are against all evil and mean no harm to anyone. The color of the tiger is storied to come after the animal gains wisdom and overcomes obstacles. A visit from the tiger humbles anyone in its presence and is an omen of good luck.
During the games, these mascots were meant to show pride and humility during honorable competitions. An additional benefit of these mascots was the attention they brought to such beautiful animals who have always been important to nature, deserving admiration and respect.
Mascots cheer us on during awe-inspiring moments, and there were many such moments at this year’s Games. Some athletes broke records and unity seemed to be the defining theme of the event. For example, the women’s hockey teams from North Korea and South Korea came together at the games to represent the country as one under the same flag. The U.S. women’s hockey team also beat Canada for the Gold for the first time in 20 years.
The Emotional Significance of The Games
Millions of people around the world watch the Olympics Games. Seeing audiences and athletes become emotional at the games is common because of the hard work, determination, talent, and passion on display. This year, viewers in the United States were able to watch a live broadcast of the games instead of a replay.
But, if you’re wondering why so many of us love the Olympics so passionately, it’s because the significance of the sport goes much deeper than entertainment. While many people are dedicated sports lovers year-round, others only watch the Olympics. With other games, such as basketball and football, there’s a single sport to follow. During the Olympics, many viewers watch the variety of individual games from beginning to end.
One of the main reasons for the anticipation surrounding the Olympics is the personal connections we form with our favorite athletes, especially after we learn their personal stories of struggle and triumph. In a way, the Olympics is similar to an inspirational movie. Watching athletes overcome their obstacles and leaving the games with a victory gives many people hope to achieve their dreams.
Quality family time also contributes to the enjoyment of the Olympics. Families of all sizes often come together to watch the games and discuss their favorite sports. Because the games are kid-friendly, many children love watching the dramatic and exciting competitions, in awe of the athletes. Parents use Olympic participants to explain the value of hard work, and children hope to become like their favorite competitors.
Patriotism drives many people to watch the Olympics because they want to see the athletes from their country win. Winning in the Olympic Games gives audiences a great sense of pride because it shows strength, agility, and national pride. Considering the great amunt of dedication required to reach Olympics, citizens are proud just to know their country was able to compete.
Advertising Costs and Considerations
Advertisers go the extra mile during the Olympics to appeal to the masses. Because of the diverse viewership during the Olympics, advertisers must be creative to have an impact. The changing dynamic of how we view content also has to be considered. Fewer people are watching television using traditional outlets these days. In the past, the only option was cable. Today, we have choices for online streaming and access to YouTube channels. Social media is also a source of continuous updates for major events.
Researchers found a noticeable difference when comparing the number of television watchers from 2015 to 2017. In just 2 years, the number of cable TV audiences had dropped from 100 million to 93 million. This year, 19 million people watched the Winter Olympics on NBC, which was a 7% drop from the number of viewers during the Sochi games.
And yet, it seems that as the number of cable television viewers decline, the budget directed towards adverts is rising. More people were watching the Sochi Olympic Games, but NBC paid $963 million for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which was estimated to be $200 million more than what was spent on ads during the Sochi games. Similar to the 2018 Winter Games, it seems advertisers are working to break records as well.