From February 9th to the 25th the XXIII edition of the games will be celebrated in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang
This year is the first time that South Korea will host a Winter Olympic Games, although in 1988 Seoul had already organized the Summer Games. The city of Pyeongchang will host the XXIII edition of the competition and here you can find the most relevant tips of one of the sporting events of the year.
Here are three facts you might not know about this event:
The host city
Pyeongchang, located in the mountainous county of Taebaek in northern South Korea, will be the city that will host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games for two weeks. It was the third bid to host the second Olympic event in importance and this time, they beat the German city of Munich and Annecy, in France.
For the adaptation of the city to receive the Games, around 12400 million dollars were invested. As a result, the Alpensia Resort Sports Park was created, where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place, as well as the development of mountain disciplines and biathlon. Although it sounds like an astronomical figure spent on infrastructure, four years ago 51 billion dollars were spent for games in Sochi, Russia.
The city of Gangneung, about 20 km from the main venue, will serve as home to four of the disciplines that will be played in the games: curling, ice hockey, speed skating and figure skating.
In total there are fifteen sports that can be seen in Pyeongchang, where 259 Olympic medals will be awarded. Among the best known is the figure skating, which even became part of the Summer Games in Berlin in 1916. Ice hockey, another of the most popular disciplines of this event, also came to be presented in the summer games of Antwerp (Belgium) in 1920.
Two other sports with a lot of attention are bobsleighing and ski jumping, mainly because they have inspired some of the most exciting stories in the Winter Games. In Calgary 1988, a Jamaican bobsleigh team qualified for the Olympic event. Although they crashed, they won the support of the entire public and were considered heroes when they arrived in their native country. In the same Olympics, Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards qualified for the ski jump test and established the British record in this discipline. Both feats were later adapted to the cinema.
The case of Russia and North Korea
In 2010, a scandal broke out in which the Russian government was involved in the cover-up of doping cases by the athletes of that country. For that reason, on December 5, Russian athletes were prevented from participating in these Winter Games under the flag of their country, and the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended from all international athletic competitions. However, athletes who are clean will be allowed to participate under the Olympic flag.
On the other hand, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on January 1 that he will send a sports delegation to participate in the Games in February. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he would “take swift action” so that the North Koreans can participate in the Olympic event, hoping to improve relations between the two countries.
LatinAmerican Post | Iván Parada Hernández
Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda