"Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind." - Olympic Charter
From the first Modern Olympic games conducted in 1896 in Athens, with just 241 participants, 14 nations, to the 2,873 athletes from 88 nations during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Olympic games have stood steadfast upon the principle of ' ...contribut(ing) to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind, in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play'. The Modern Olympic games not only provide a platform for expressing friendship and solidarity among all participating nations but also provide a grand spectacle to millions who watch it through their television sets.
The Winter Olympics first started in the year 1924 in Chamonix, France, and was conducted for 11 days. This was initiated to conduct snow and ice sports like skating and ice hockey that was logistically impossible in the Summer Olympics. The Winter games are also conducted every 4 years like the Summer Olympics but just 2 years away from each other. Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Figure skating, Ice hockey, Free-style skating are a few among the 15 odd sporting events that are conducted during the Winter Olympics.
PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018
The 23rd Winter Olympics scheduled for this year is being held in PyeongChang County, South Korea between 9 to 25 February. While Norway, United States, Germany, Russia, and Canada are the top performing nations in Winter sports, countries like South Korea, Japan and China have been named emerging countries as they have had success since the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
To commemorate the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, South Korea released a set of coins in Gold, Silver and Bronze in 2016.
PyeongChang 1oz Gold coin
The 30,000 Won PyeongChang Gold coin is the first of the Winter Olympics coins that was released. The obverse shows the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics logo and the Olympic rings as well. The reverse shows skiers with the 'Gorosoi ski'. In the Gangwon province in South Korea, the Gorosoi ski is a popular method of transport in the snowy slopes. They used the skis along with snowshoes with a hardwood frame called Seolpi and a stick to move in the right direction. Traditionally a spear at the other end of the stick was used for hunting. This coin has a limited mintage of 4500.
PyeongChang Half oz Gold coin
The PyeongChang Half oz Gold coin with 20,000 Won as denomination features the Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium which is a multi-purpose stadium located at Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang. It generally hosts all ski jumping events during sporting events. For the 2018 Winter Olympics, the stadium is scheduled to host the ski jumping and the Nordic combined. Nordic combined is where the athletes participate in the cross country skiing and ski jumping. The coin shows the ski jumping performance using Latent image technology. The coin has a mintage of 15,000.
PyeongChang 8 Coin Silver Set
Each of the 8 coins have a denomination of 5000 Won and showcase different events in the games. Events like Short Track Speed Skating (Coin 1), Speed Skating (Coin 2), Bobsleigh (Coin 3), Alpine Skiing (Coin 4), Curling (Coin 5), Ice Hockey (Coin 6), Luge (Coin 7) and Biathlon (Coin 8) are illustrated beautifully in snow crystal patterns. Each coin depicts the particular event in zoomed-in motion.
PyeongChang Brass Coin
The 1000 Won PyeongChang Brass coin showcases Seven Winter Olympic Sports events; Snowboard, Figure Skating, Skeleton, Luge, Biathlon, Ice Hockey, and Curling. This coin has a mintage of 70,000.
The Olympic Games promote a real sense of inclusion among all participating nations. They provide an avenue to showcase sportsmanship without aggression; A true international platform for the young to collaborate and engage in sports with solidarity ; where winning comes second to participation!
The PyeongChang coins capture this spirit of the Olympic games wonderfully well in all its 2018 Winter Olympic coins!
In the words of Pierre_de_Coubertin, the father of Modern Olympics, the idea of the Olympic games '......is not to win but to take part.......is not to have conquered but to have fought well....'!!