Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][vc_column_text]The wait is over for the 2018 instalment of the Winter Olympics and the excitement kicks off with the opening ceremony which happens tomorrow, 9th February. The 2018 winter Olympics are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

There have been some rather eventful twists in the run up to the 2018 winter games. North Korea have decided to take part, ending years of silence between themselves and South Korea, Russian athletes have been banned from participating, oh and apparently it’s too cold… What more could we ask for!

North Korea take part in 2018 winter Olympics

Out of the blue, North Korea decided to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. This is somewhat of a surprise after tensions have been running high over the past year or so.

The North completed various missile tests during 2017 which caused outrage in South Korea and America. However, during his new year speech, Kim Jong-un hinted that North Korea may take part in the forthcoming winter Olympic games.

This meant years of silence was broken as talks took place between North and South Korea. Whilst this move isn’t going to form any peace treaty, it shows Kim Jong-un has more sense than first thought! This will be a brilliant piece of propaganda for North Korea.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][image_with_animation image_url=”3879″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”small_depth” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][vc_column_text]At the opening ceremony, North and South Korea will march together as one country with a ‘unified Korea’ flag which depicts the whole Korean peninsula in blue with a white background.

North Korea are sending over 22 athletes along with a group of 400 people who will form a band, take part in cheerleading and taekwondo.

As you’d expect, this group will be on a tight leash as Kim Jong-nam, the nominal head of state and the highest ranking official ever to visit South Korea will lead the group.

However you look at it, this is a brilliant ploy by the North Koreans. We’ll wait to see if there are any controversial events that happen at the games.

Russian athletes banned

Russia were completely banned from taking part in the 2018 winter games thanks to the Sochi doping scandal four years ago. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has permitted 169 Russians to compete in the games, however, they must enter as individual athletes rather than from Russia.

A total of 47 athletes and coaches have appealed against theirs bans from taking part in the 2018 winter Olympics. However, it seems the IOC have refused to overturn the ban these Russian athletes and coaches are facing.

I’m sure we’ve not heard the end of this saga.

Is it too cold in Pyeongchang?

A winter Olympics being too cold? I know, it doesn’t make sense.

But when you consider the temperature and specifically the wind chill in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, you can soon understand why organisers are concerned.

The temperature for the opening ceremony which starts at 20:00 local time (11:00 BST) is set to be between -2C and -5C. You’re probably thinking that’s what the temperature is back in England.

However, it’s not until you consider the wind chill which brings temperatures down by another 20C that you realise it’s quite cold out there! It turns out some athletes may miss the opening ceremony all-together, preferring to stay warm ahead of competing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][image_with_animation image_url=”3881″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”small_depth” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][vc_column_text]Andrew Musgrave, a team GB cross country skier posted on twitter:

‘It’s only about -5 degrees, but the wind makes if feel absolutely Baltic. Hate to think how cold it will feel if the temperature drops to -20 like it was here last week!’

No snow?

It’s so cold in fact, that snowfall is rather hit and miss. This has concerned organisers but they’ve come up with a solution.

They’ve brought in specialist snow cannons costing £4.4 million to ensure there’s some white stuff floating around. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s kind of insane. Surely, snowfall should be a prerequisite to hosting the Winter Olympics? Or is it just me…

Certain events and athletes will benefit from colder conditions where as others will find it harder. Some skiing and snowboarding athletes will find it difficult to dig their edges into icy surfaces making turning rather tricky. If the temperature drops below -20C (excluding wind chill), cross country skiing will be postponed. However, these conditions will suit speed skiing events such as downhill and super giant slalom.

Team GB hopefuls?

It’s fair to say, we’re not really suited to the Winter Olympics. However, team GB are taking the largest ever group of athletes (59) to the Olympic Games this year. We have a few medal hopefuls in:

Elise Christie – speed skating

Lizzy Yarnold – Skeleton

Dave Ryding – Alpine skiing

Men’s and women’s curling teams

Team GB have been challenged to bring home the highest ever winter Olympics medal haul by beating the four medals we won at Sochi in 2014.

Good luck Team GB :-)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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