These are exciting times for South Korea, site of the 2018 the Winter Olympics. The games are getting underway in the next week, with the Opening Ceremonies taking place on Friday, February 9.
The host city for the games is PyeongChang, South Korea. PyeongChang (not to be confused with Pyongyang, capital of North Korea) is located approximately 125 Kilometers from Seoul, the capital of South Korean. Most visitors to the Olympics are expected to arrive via the Seoul airport, then travel by bus or train to PyeongChang. The Olympic schedule actually occurs at the same time as the national Lunar New Year holiday, when pretty much the whole country is traveling to their home towns. Tickets will be hard to acquire, so visitors are advised to plan as far ahead as possible.
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will take place in in the open-air PyeongChang stadium. The stadium is not being used for any games, and will be torn down after the 2018 games are completed.
The Opening Ceremonies are likely to be the coldest Olympic ceremonies since Lillehammer, Norway. Temperatures are expected to reach minus 17 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit), with significant north winds making it feel even colder. Except for patio heaters and wind screens, visitors will be relying on warm boots and clothing for warmth, along with heating pads and blankets handed out by the Olympic organizers.
Competition will take place in 2 separate areas, PyeongChang Mountain Cluster and Gangneung Coastal Cluster, with numerous competition venues within each cluster. The 2 clusters are approximately 60 kilometers apart, and visitors can take buses or trains to travel from one area to another.
PyeongChang Mountain Cluster contains the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, the Alpensia Biathlon Center, Alpensia Ski Jumping Center, Alpensia Sliding Center, Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Center, and the Yongpyong Alpine Center.Gangneung Coastal Cluster
The Gangneung Coastal Cluster includes the Gangneung Oval, Kwandong Hockey Center, Gangneung Ice Hockey Center, Gangneung Ice Arena, and the Gangneung Curling Center. There are two stand-alone venues, Bokwang Snow Park for snowboarding and the Jeongseon Alpine Center for three different alpine sports.
Click here for complete competition schedule.
South Korea is 14 hours ahead of New York, so if you want to see the Opening Ceremonies live, you'll have to get up early. You can watch a live stream of the performance from Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium online starting at 6 a.m. ET at NBCOlympics.com. Or, you can tune in to NBC at 8 p.m. ET.
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