Ever since NHL players answered the call to play for country en masse during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the league's stars have been elemental to the success of many of their national teams. The complexion of the men’s tournament in PyeongChang will change dramatically with the NHL's decision to not participate in the Olympic Games. The most outspoken NHLer on the decision to skip PyeongChang, Washington Capital and would-be Russia star Alex Ovechkin, accpeted his Olympic fate in 2018, and expressed his frustrations with the situation in September . Below are the 12 teams qualified for the men's tournament, and as rosters begin to take shape, check back to acquaint yourself with the men who will play for gold in PyeongChang.
The first Games held under the auspices of the IOC was hosted in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens in 1896. The Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events.  Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas had left the Greek government a trust to fund future Olympic Games. This trust was used to help finance the 1896 Games.    George Averoff contributed generously for the refurbishment of the stadium in preparation for the Games.  The Greek government also provided funding, which was expected to be recouped through the sale of tickets and from the sale of the first Olympic commemorative stamp set. 
Now that testing for the synthetic stuff and blood-doping is readily available the ‘safety’ limit remains in force, causing occasional problems for those with naturally high haematocrit (the normal range is about 36-50 and all you need is a bit of altitude training or dehydration to put you over the line), though it might be a good thing in the grand scheme. The problem is people using the drugs for training so they can recover and do yet more training in the off season (or small races too early in their season to win…) when they’re less likely to be detected. The other problem is that A LOT of professionals are on something- illegal or new and not yet banned so it’s unlikely doping athletes really feel like they are ‘cheating’ as such. Just re-leveling the playing field one way or another… Sad for the other 50% of us who value our health even at elite level.