Are you ready for it?
The Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea start tomorrow with the first round of mixed doubles curling, which begins at 7 p.m. ET and then men’s alpine skiing training which starts at 9 p.m. ET.
The opening ceremonies will be held the next day, and the closing ceremonies take place about two weeks later on Feb. 25. This is the 23rd Olympic Winter Games. The South Korea city won the right to hold the Olympics after two previously unsuccessful attempts. They beat out a bid from Annecy, France and Munich, Germany. The last time South Korea hosted the Olympics was in 1988, but it was the Summer Olympics. Pyeongchang is about 80 miles east of Seoul, South Korea’s capital. It is about 60 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone dividing North Korea and South Korea.
A temporary venue was set up for the opening and closing ceremonies. The venue can hold 35,000 spectators. All competition venues are located within a 30-minute drive from that stadium. This year’s mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang. White tigers are considered guardians in Korean history and culture.
Meanwhile, the Pyeongchang Olympic village will house up to 3,894 athletes and team officials, while a second village in Gangneung will host more than 2,900 personnel. The Games feature 102 events in 15 sports, such as figure skating, luge, snowboard, and ski jumping. There are a few new events this year: big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass start speed skating and mixed doubles curling.
As punishment for Russia’s alleged state-sponsored cover-up of doping by its athletes, the International Olympic Committee announced in December that it was barring Russia’s national Olympic committee from the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, some Russian athletes will still be allowed to participate in the Games by competing individually under a neutral Olympic flag.