PyeongChang 2018

The 23rd Edition of the Olympic Winter Games

  • 24 Feb - 02 Mar, 2018
  • Mariam Khan
  • Sports

The 23rd edition of the Olympic Winter Games kick started in PyeongChang, Republic of Koreaon February 9 and will go up to February 25, 2018. The opening ceremony was held at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, a structure that is temporary and has a capacity for 35,000 spectators. South Korea will be hosting the Olympic Games for the second time – Seoul hosting the Summer Olympics in 1988. The last winter Olympics, which were held in Sochi, Russia were one of the most costliest games; however, these ones have been estimated at $10 billion, five times less than the cost of the last games. In the current edition of the Games, 93 countries are participating from over five continents, with four events added by the International Olympic Committee for 2018. Participants will compete in big air snowboarding and an alpine skiing team event on the slopes, while on the ice, mass start speed skating and mixed doubles curling have been introduced.

Climate change affecting the Games

With scary winds blowing in PyeongChang, blowing away temporary tents and booths and according to Reuters injuring 13 volunteers and three spectators having received minor injuries from flying debris, (till the time this piece goes to print), all the activities that were to take place in the Gangneung Olympic Park were temporarily. According to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games weather report, the ‘Siberian Highbrings cold and dry weather to the Korean Peninsula. When the air mass gains strength, high winds and low windchill temperatures are the most influential factors in particular during the Olympic Period.’

With climate change more evident, 'By the 2050s only 10 cities would be able to reliably host again due to the effects of climate change. Sochi and Vancouver, the most recent hosts, would be knocked out while locales like Oslo would be marginal at best' states Climate Central, an independent organization of scientists which conducts scientific research on climate change. 'Only six cities would have a climate reliably cold enough to host again by the 2080s. Torino and Nagano would be "no goes" while Lake Placid & Lillehammer would be "maybes."

Sports Diplomacy

On January 20, 2018 the International Olympic Committee made it public that North Korea will be participating in the Games, with 22 athletes competing in three sports. On the opening ceremony, after much tensions in 2017 over the North's nuclear program, North and South Korea marched under the Korean Unification Flag which features the Korean peninsula in blue against a white backdrop. And it was in these moments when history was being made when the North's leader, Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo Jong shook hands with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in. Ms Jong even personally gave a letter from her brother, Mr Jong-un to Mr Jae-in inviting the South's president to a landmark summit in Pyongyang "at the earliest date possible" after handing over the autographed letter and marching under a unified flag was not all. A joint women's hockey team played against Switzerland in front of Moon Jae-in and Kim Yo Jong.

Olympic medal design

The medals, which range in weight from 586 grams for the gold medal to 493 grams for the bronze, reflect the traditions and culture of the host nation. Their design was inspired by the texture of tree trunks, with the front bearing the Olympic rings and dynamic diagonal lines that reflect both the history of the Olympics and the determination of the participants. On the reverse, meanwhile, are stated the discipline, event and the PyeongChang 2018 emblem. In total, 259 sets of the medals have been made.

They are the work of celebrated South Korean designer Lee Suk-woo, who incorporated Hangeul – the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture. The ribbon from which the medal hangs is an equally important part of the design and has been created using gapsa, a traditional South Korean fabric. The light teal and light red ribbon from which the medals hang is also embroidered with Hangeul patterns and other designs.

Composition: Gold : a silver medal with a purity of 99.9% plated with 6g of gold. Silver: a silver medal with a purity of 99.9%. Bronze: a copper medal (Cu90-Zn10). Weight: Gold: 586 g. Silver: 580 g. Bronze: 493 g. Diameter: 92.5 mm Number of medals: 259


Sport's Guide

Alpine Skiing

Extreme speed matched with skill is what goes into this very sport. Athletes go down mountains at a speed of about 90 mph. Alpine Skiing comprises of 12 different competitions with speed events (downhill and Super-G) and technical events (slalom and giant slalom).


A very popular sport in Europe, Biathlon is a mix of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.


On a bullet-shaped sled, athletes hurl down an icy track in Bobsleigh. It comprises of teams of two or four.

Cross-Country Skiing

Using two techniques, classic and freestyle, in Cross-Country Skiing, the oldest type of skiing, skiers have to complete the distance in the shortest time.


Granite stones which come from the Scottish Island of Ailsa Craig are used in this very sport. Curlers use brooms to slide stones on ice.

Figure Skating

The oldest Winter Olympic sport, Figure Skating has the spectators mesmerized with athletes acrobatically twirling gliding on ice.

Freestyle Skiing

It comprises of five events -- ski halfpipe, ski cross, ski slopestyle, aerials and moguls. All a fusion of acrobatics on skis.

Ice Hockey

The name says it all-- hockey on ice, with players aim, the opponents net.


"Most precisely times sports" is what Luge is. Participants have their feet down a track with only a helmet for protection.

Nordic Combined

With stamina and strength the key, Nordic Combined is a mixture of cross-country skiing and ski jumping.

Short Track Speed Skating

Taking place on an oval track which is 111.12m long, Short Track Speed Skating is track and field on ice, without any lanes.


A thousandth of a second even matters in Skeleton. Athletes launch headfirst on a toboggan, a light narrow vehicle, with speeds exceeding 90mph.

Ski Jumping

Also known as the "the flower of ski sports", Ski Jumpers make a launch from a 35 to 37 degree ramp at 55mph with and are judged over flying, landing and style.


Comprising of 10 individual events, parallel giant slalom, halfpipe, snowboard cross, big air and, making its Olympic debut, slopestyle, the sport is popular and has athletes surf on ice.

Speed Skating

As the name suggests, speed is key in this sport. The quickest athlete skating on ice wins.