Winter Olympics : A quick guide to the 2018 extravaganza

Winter Olympics are going to be one of the biggest attractions of the upcoming year.

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It is less than 50 days now to go for the biggest event of the winter with the 2018 Winter Olympics coming up very shortly. Here are the details of the Winter Edition of the Greatest Show on Earth.

Edition Number:

Having started in 1924 in the French city of Chamonix, the 2018 games will be the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics.

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Host City and Country:

The 2018 games will be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang. This will be the first time that South Korea will play host to the winter event and second overall, after the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Asia will be the host continent for the third time after the Winter Games were organized twice in the Japanese cities of Sapporo  (1972) and Nagano (1998).

The Games Duration:

The Pyeongchang Games will see its opening ceremony on the 8th of February 2018, with the games commencing the very next day. The closing ceremony will be on the 25th of February, Sunday.

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Different Events:

Altogether a total of 102 gold medals will be up for grabs next February in 15 varied disciplines across 7 different sports. The 7 sports are Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Curling, Ice Hockey, Luge, Skating and Skiing. 4 events have been added to this edition alongside the previous ones. The sports are Big Air Snowboarding and Freestyle Skiing on the slopes, alongside Mass Start Speed Skating and Mixed Doubles Curling.

Venues:

The Alpensia Sports Park in Daegwallyeong-myeon will be the focal point of the games. It will consist of the following sub venues for the different specified events.

Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium will be the host for Opening and Closing ceremonies. Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre will be the venue for the various events of Ski jumping and Nordic combined. The Biathlon will take place at Alpensia Biathlon Centre. Alpensia Cross-Country Centre will host the Cross-country Skiing and also a few events of Nordic combined. Alpensia Sliding Centre will be the venue for Luge, Bobsleigh, and Skeleton. The Olympic Village will also be inside the Alpensia Sports Park.

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The Alpine Skiing events (both slalom and giant slalom) will be contested at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The Gangneung Olympic Park of the Coastal Cluster, located in the city of Gangneung. will include the following four additional venues:

Gangneung Hockey Centre will play host to the Men’s Ice hockey tournament. Curling will be contested at Gangneung Curling Centre, Gangneung Oval will host Speed skating and Gangneung Ice Arena will see athletes battle it out for Short-track speed skating and figure skating.

In addition, a standalone venue is located on the grounds of Kwandong University, where Kwandong Hockey Centre will host the Ice Hockey women’s tournament.

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Participating Countries:

A total of 89 teams have qualified for the Games with at least 1 athlete representing their flag(s). Ecuador, Kosovo, Eritrea, Malaysia and Singapore are most likely to be making their respective debuts at the Games. Russian athletes will be participating under the IOC flag since the whole Russian confederation is suspended due to doping allegations. For the first time in history 2 figure skaters from North Korea will be competing on South Korean soil.

Medals:

Designed by Lee Suk-woo, the medals feature dynamic diagonal lines and three-dimensional consonants from the Korean alphabet stretching across the face. According to the official website, they’ve been crafted with a texture to resemble tree trunks, symbolizing “the work that has gone into developing Korean culture and the Games themselves”. Between the bronze, silver and gold medals. the gold weighs the most at 586 grams. Overall, 259 sets of medals have been cast for these Games.

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Mascot:

The 2018 Winter Olympic mascot will be a White Tiger by the name of Soohorang. The Games website claims that the animal is very closely associated to the Korean mythology. The Tiger also has his innumerable references in folk tales as well.

Next Games:

The next Winter Games will take place in the year 2022. The host has been decided to be Beijing, China. Beijing will be the first city in history to host both the Summer as well as Winter Olympic Games.

Photo by Robert Scoble

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