Pyeongchang, South Korea, is closer to Pyongyang — the North Korean capital city with a similar-sounding name — than New York City is to Boston. This close proximity has caused quite a bit of worry, especially stateside, as Pyeongchang prepares to host the 2018 Winter Olympics beginning in February.
Political tensions have been on the rise around the globe concerning North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and his arsenal of ballistic and nuclear weapons. The two Koreas are technically still at war after a conflict in the 1950s ended only with a truce, and United States President Donald Trump seems to consistently be in a battle of words with the secretive Kim.
As recently as December, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned that American athletes may not even attend the 2018 Games due to threats from North Korea.
This rising global tension is certainly not lost on athletes who will soon head to the region to compete for the gold.