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PyeongChang delegations will be large

Jan 29,2018
Olympic fans can now check the finalized list of athletes competing for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games. To meet today’s final entry deadline, participating nations have confirmed the complete names of athletes who will be competing at the Games.

Based on the lists, the quadrennial event seems to be attracting more and more competitors.

Team USA released a statement Saturday that it would send the “largest athlete delegation for any nation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games” with 242 members - 107 women and 135 men. For the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, the team sent 222 athletes.

The United States will participate in 97 out of the 102 sport categories. For alpine ski, notable American racers include Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, while for both men’s and women’s snowboard halfpipe, elite snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim will enter the Games.

Germany, which usually dominates the Games, will send two more members than they did during the Sochi Olympics with a total of 154 athletes, including speed skater Claudia Pechstein, known for her performance during long-distance relays.

Japan will send its largest delegation yet for any international sporting event with a noticeably larger number of female athletes than male. The nation will send 116 athletes to PyeongChang - 64 women and 52 men.

“After PyeongChang is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese National Olympic Committee. “The athletes’ performance at this Olympics will be motivation for the athletes whose goal is to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.”

Russia, on the other hand, is permitted to send only 169 out of the 500 athletes it recommended to the Olympics. Facing a controversial doping scandal, Russia is only allowed to have athletes competing under the designation “Olympic Athlete from Russia” while wearing the Olympic symbol instead of the Russian flag.

South Korea plans to send 146 players to the Games, according to a statement from the Korean Sports and Olympic Committee made on Jan. 24. The nation has seen a rise in participating athletes for the international event - 46 for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 71 for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Some nations including Nigeria, Eritrea, Ecuador and Malaysia will appear at their first-ever Winter Games in PyeongChang, which is expected to have the greatest number of participants in Winter Olympics history, with about 90 participating nations.

BY KIM JI-HAN [song.hankyul@joongang.co.kr]