PyeongChang 2018 was the first time Korea had hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 30 years after the Seoul Games in 1988.
Norway topped the medal tally with a total of 39 medals, 14 of them gold, breaking the previous record of 37 medals won by the United States at Vancouver 2010. Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time when she won her 15th Olympic medal in the women’s 30km Mass Start on the final day of competition.
History was made when, for the first time since 2006, South and North Korea marched together during the Opening Ceremony at PyeongChang 2018 under one unified flag.
Australia at these Games
The 2018 Australian Olympic Team was Australia’s second largest Winter Olympic team after Sochi 2014, with 51 selected athletes, 28 men, and 23 women.
2017 Snowboard Halfpipe World Champion Scotty James carried the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony. The 23-year-old went on to win bronze at his third Winter Olympic Games in what was dubbed the best snowboard halfpipe final in Olympic history. American Snowboard legend Shaun White won gold with a massive score of 97.75 ahead of Japan’s Ayumu Hirano in silver with 95.25 and James’ strong score of 92.00 secured him the bronze.
Australia won a total of three medals in Korea, matching the number of medals previously won at Sochi and Vancouver. Mogul skier Matt Graham won Australia’s first medal at the 2018 Games. The 23-year-old claimed silver behind the greatest mogul skier of all time, Canadian Mikal Kingsbury. After advancing through the first qualification run and the first two finals, Graham saved his best run for last, recording a score of 82.57 in the Super Final to bring home the silver.
22-year-old Jarryd Hughes won silver in the men’s snowboard cross at Phoenix Snow Park. The dual Olympian finished just behind Sochi 2014 gold medallist and 2017 World Champion Pierre Vaultier (France) and was joined on the podium by Spain's Regino Hernandez who took bronze. A spot in the big final came after Hughes and fellow Aussie Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin finished 2-1 in the semi-final. Hughes came flying out of the start gate in the Olympic final and managed to hold on to second place despite a number of athletes, Pullin included, crashing in the final. Hughes crossed the line in second, claiming Australia’s first medal in boardercross and later received the honour of being named Closing Ceremony Flag Bearer.
Australia had more top-six results than ever before, with seven athletes making the Super Finals in their respective events. 19-year-old Olympic debutant Jakara Anthony finished fourth in women’s mogul skiing, just ahead of triple Olympian Britt Cox, who finished fifth. At her second Olympic Games, Laura Peel finished fifth in the women’s aerials; and three-time Olympian and 2014 flag bearer Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin recorded his best Olympic result with sixth in the men’s snowboard cross. With 11 top-10 results, mogul skiing and snowboard cross were two stand out disciplines, both having three Aussies in the top-10.
Lydia Lassila made history at PyeongChang when she became the first Australian female to compete at five Winter Olympic Games. Although the dual Olympic medallist was unable to add to her medal collection, finishing 14th overall, she was congratulated by officials, athletes and fellow Australians alike on an incredible Olympic career when she announced her retirement from aerial skiing after her event.
The team featured a number of other history makers. Figure skater Harley Windsor became the nation’s first Indigenous Winter Olympian, when alongside his partner Ekaterina Alexendrovskaya, the duo finished 18th in the Pairs event. In her first Olympic Games for Australia, but third ever Games after having competed twice for Slovenia, Barbara Jezersek equalled the best ever Australian Olympic cross country kiing result with 33rd in the Women’s 10km free – the result matched Chris Heberle’s 33rd place finish in the men’s 15km Classic event at the Calgary 1988 Games and beats the previous best by an Australian female which had been held by Colleen Bolton. Olympic debutant Jess Yeaton competed in the most events out of anyone in the Australian Team, racing in five cross-country kiing events, including the grueling 30km Free race. Plus, alongside Jezersek, the duo recorded Australia’s best ever Team Sprint Cross Country result, finishing 12th.