The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has begun in earnest with the Opening Ceremony taking place on February 9. This is the 23rd of its kind and multiple athletes the world over have settled in Pyeongchang to represent their nations.

But there's a trending story of a certain OAR country and it's athletes. They caught the attention of the gathering with their drab gray coats and blue jeans at the Opening Ceremony.

Who really are the OAR?

OAR is an acronym that means Olympic Athletes from Russia. It's a term used for Russians athletes who won't be allowed to represent their nations on the premise of an outright ban on Russia.

Russia has been convicted of a state-backed cover-up of doping irregularities. This saw most of their athletes use performance-enhancing drugs, notably at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the Summer Olympics held in Rio, 2016.

Vox News opines the OAR is a good gesture from the International Olympics Committee (IOC). This body is vested with authority to oversee the Olympic Games and it chose to show leniency toward Russian athletes who were not part of the doping lot. It is the avenue through which 169 athletes from Russia have gained access to competes as independents at Pyeongchang.

The Winter Olympic Games could help loosen tension

Sporting events like the 2018 Winter Games have a way of loosening tension between hostile nations and instead fostering peace in and among them.

Such is the power of sports to create friendlier environments. We saw a perfect description of this when North and South Korea were seen marching along, together under one flag at the Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang. This was a rare moment of unity and one many would like to see on a more frequent basis.

As reported by Vox News, it seems North Korea has taken the initiative toward speaking with South Korea by extending an invitation to South Korea's president.

A letter was delivered by Kim Jong-un's sister to President Moon Jae-in of South Korea.

It is alleged that Kim Jong-un wants Moon at Pyongyang. Kim believes unification and prosperity are something to aim for and worked at between the Koreas. Moon, on the other hand, has swiftly responded to Kim's remark, saying it is a response to a much-needed improvement of “inter-Korean relations.”

Will this invitation truly bring about a long-lasting peace between the Koreas or is it rather a guise to drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea? We will have to wait to see.