We're still months away from the 2018 Winter Olympics, but we're already counting down the days to the Opening Ceremonies in PyeongChang. Whether you're planning to watch the action on the TV at home, or from the stands in South Korea, here's everything you need to know about the games.
Where will the 2018 Winter Olympics take place?
The 2018 Olympic Games will take place in PyeongChange, South Korea, marking the first time the Games have been held in South Korea in 30 years. (The Seoul Summer Olympics were in 1988.) The small city in the Taebaek Mountains will host the Opening Ceremonies, Closing Ceremonies, and many of the snow sports. According to the Olympics website, "Alpine speed events will take place in Jeongseon, and all ice sports will be competed in the coastal city of Gangneung."
Over the summer, controversy regarding the location of the Games - specifically its proximity to North Korea - bubbled up. At least for now, however, all signs point to PyeongChang hosting the event.
When does the Winter Olympics begin?
The Opening Ceremonies kick off on February 9, 2018, though Olympic events will reportedly start on February 8.
Are there any new events this year?
In total, there will be 102 events over 15 sports in the 2018 Olympics. Of those, four events in existing sports will make their debut in PyeongChang: "big air" snowboarding, curling mixed doubles, mass-start speed skating, and alpine skiing national mixed team event.
See the full list over at olympic.org.
Who is the mascot?
One of my favorite parts of each Olympic Games is seeing the new mascots, playful ambassadors for the host city. In 2018, a white tiger named Soohorang serves as the Olympics mascot and an Asiatic black bear named Bandabi represents PyeongChang at the Paralympic Games.
While the black bear "symbolises strong willpower and courage in the Korean folklore," Soohorang represents "protection offered to the athletes, spectators and other participants in the 2018 Games."
What does the schedule look like?
Olympic events will take place between February 8 and February 25, with the first medal rounds starting on February 10. See the full schedule here.
How can you watch the competition on TV?
In the States, NBC owns the rights to the Winter Olympics, and will be broadcasting throughout the Games, and according to Fortune, events "will be broadcast live across all time zones."
That means, no more tape delays and major events spoiled by social media reveals.
"Nothing brings America together for two weeks like the Olympics, and that communal experience will now be shared across the country at the same time, both on television and streaming online," reads a statement from Jim Bell, president of NBC’s Olympics production and programming.
For reference, PyeongChang is 13 hours ahead of New York City.
How can you buy tickets?
Tickets for various events including the Opening Ceremony are currently available to purchase on pyeongchang2018.com.
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