With less than six months to go until the 2018 Winter Games, preparations are well underway in the city of Pyeongchang as they hope to host a fantastic Games.
These Games mark what will be the first time the Winter Olympics has ever visited the country. The last time the Olympics was in South Korea was in 1988 for the summer Games and officials will be hoping that 20 years on, the success of these Games can be replicated.
Last week saw Olympic officials visit the South Korean city for their ninth and final visit to the city before the Games that take place between 9 February-25 February. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) spent three days evaluating all the facilities and preparations for the Games and were left delighted with what they saw.
The IOC Coordination Chair Gunilla Lindberg said: “We saw first-hand the advances that have been made on venues and infrastructure, as well as heard updates on plans to further engage with Olympic fans. While details must continue to be refined in the coming months, it was evident that the Organising Committee is well on its way to delivering successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
One of the main venues that will be used at the Games is the Pyeongchang mountain cluster which will play host to some of the Winter Games’ most popular sports including ski jumping, snowboarding and ski slalom.
The opening and closing ceremonies are set to be hosted at the purpose-built Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. Located in the town of Daegwallyeong-myeon the stadium holds 50,000 spectators and will also act as the location for medal ceremonies during the Games. Ticket prices range from around $18 to up to $803 as the Games’ organisers aim to make the event accessible to everyone.
During the Games, the organisers will also be including a taste of Korean culture in the form of mascots Soohorang and Bandabi. Following a nationwide competition, the South Korean public selected Soohorang a white tiger, an animal that plays a big part in Korean folklore and mythology. Bandabi, is a black bear who will act as the official mascot of the Paralympic Winter Games and is a symbol of strong will, determination and bravery.
Outside of the stadium will be an exhibition hall and traditional food markets bringing a glimpse of Korean culture and heritage to proceedings.
This year sees four new disciplines enter the Games with big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating and mixed team alpine skiing all making their debuts at the Games.
Team GB will be hoping to better their medal tally of four from the 2014 Games in Sochi and here at Champions Olympic Speakers, we have a whole host of former and current Winter Olympic stars who can offer their expert insight into the Games.
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