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What you need to know about the Winter Olympics

What you need to know about the Winter Olympics

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will be held for 17 days from February 9-25, 2018, in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, the Republic of Korea. This marks the first time the Olympics have been staged in Korea since the Summer Games were hosted in Seoul, in 1988. Japan is the only other Asian country to have hosted the Olympic Winter Games in both 1972 (Sapporo) and 1998 (Nagano).

More than 2,800 athletes from 95 nations are expected to participate in 7 sports, and 15 sport disciplines, between 102 medal events—the most ever contested at an Olympic Winter Games to date. Yup, this will be the first ever Olympic Winter Games to hand out over 100 gold medals! A total of 6 new events—such as snowboard big air (men, women), speed skating mass start (men, women), curling mixed doubles and an alpine skiing team event—have been added to the program.

The Paralympic Games will run March 9-18, 2018. More than 670 athletes representing 45 nations are expected to compete in a total of 6 sports and a total of 80 events.


The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games will be contested across 12 competition venues spread between 2 clusters: a coastal cluster of arenas for skating and curling and a mountain cluster for skiing and sliding.

The mountain cluster consists of Alpensia Resort (site of the ski jumping, big air, Nordic combined, biathlon, cross-country skiing, luge, bobsleigh and skeleton events—and also the slalom and giant slalom alpine skiing events, at Yongpyong Alpine Centre) and two stand-alone venues.

The stand-alone venues include the Jeongseon Alpine Centre—where downhill, super-G, and combined alpine skiing events will be held—and, for all you freeskiing lovers out there, Bokwang Phoenix Snow Park, where the freestyle skiing and (most of the) snowboarding events will be held. Freestyle skiing events include aerials, moguls, ski cross, halfpipe and slopestyle. Snowboarding events to be hosted at the Bokwang Phoenix Snow Park include slalom, halfpipe, snowboard cross and slopestyle.

The aforementioned venues are located a maximum of 30 minutes from PyeongChang, by train. Additionally, the completion of a $3.7 billion bullet train line connecting Seoul with PyeongChang allows spectators to travel from the country’s capital to the Olympic hub in approximately 69 minutes. PyeongChang is about 80 miles east of Seoul and about 50 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea.

Bokwang Phoenix Snow Park Stats

Base Elevation: 2,231 feet
Summit Elevation: 3,543 feet
Vertical Drop: 1,312 feet
Ski runs: 14
Total slope length: 9.51 miles
Ski lifts: 11

Did you know? Korea has 19 ski resorts, according to the Ski Resort Business Association of Korea. Most of the ski resorts are located in Gangwon-do (the region with the most annual snowfall, on average) including the Olympic venues.


The first Olympic Winter Games were held in Chamonix, France, in 1924 and the 22nd edition of the Games were celebrated in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.


Lee Suk-Woo is the designer of the medals for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. He incorporated Hangeul (the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture) into the design of the medals by using a series of three-dimensional consonants. The ribbons attached to the medals are made from Gapsa, a traditional Korean fabric. Each gold medal weighs 586 grams (1.29 pounds); silver medals weigh 580 grams (1.28 pounds); and bronze medals clock in at 493 grams (1.09 pounds), making them the heaviest Olympic medals in history.


Saturday, February 17: Women’s Ski Slopestyle Qual., 10:00-11:25
Women’s Ski Slopestyle Finals, 13:00-14:15

*Fun fact, U.S. skier Devin Logan will compete on her birthday, pending qualification.

Sunday, February 18 Men’s Ski Slopestyle Qual., 10:00-11:45
Men’s Ski Slopestyle Finals, 13:15-14:35

Monday, February 19 Women’s Ski Halfpipe Qual., 10:00-11:15

Tuesday, February 20 Women’s Ski Halfpipe Finals, 10:30-11:40
Men’s Ski Halfpipe Qual., 13:00-14:40

Thursday, February 22 Men’s Ski Halfpipe Finals, 11:30-12:40

*All times stated in the competition schedule are based on Korean Standard Time (KST). South Korea is 13 hours ahead of New York (i.e. EST). Schedule above is subject to change.

Posted from FREESKIER

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