2018 Winter Olympics
The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XXIIIèmes Jeux olympiques d'hiver) and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is a major international multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 9 to 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.
|Host city||Pyeongchang, South Korea|
Korean: 하나된 열정. (Hanadoen Yeoljeong)
|Nations participating||92 (estimated)|
|Events||102 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)|
|Opening ceremony||9 February (20 days from now)|
|Closing ceremony||25 February|
|Stadium||Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium|
|Pyeongchang Winter Olympics|
|Hangul||평창 동계 올림픽|
|Hanja||平昌 冬季 올림픽|
|Revised Romanization||Pyeongchang Donggye Ollimpik|
|McCune–Reischauer||P'yŏngch'ang Tonggye Ollimp'ik|
|XXIII Olympic Winter Games|
|Hangul||제23회 동계 올림픽|
|Revised Romanization||Je-isipsamhoe Donggye Ollimpik|
The elected host city was announced on 6 July 2011 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. Pyeongchang won its bid on the first round of voting, receiving more votes than both Munich, Germany and Annecy, France combined.
These will be South Korea's second Olympic Games and its first Winter Games; Seoul hosted the Summer Games in 1988. Pyeongchang will be the third Asian city to host the Winter Games; the first two were in Japan, at Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998).
Pyeongchang bid to host both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games but lost in the final rounds of voting, by three and four votes respectively. Pyeongchang won its bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in the first round of voting, receiving 63 of the 95 votes cast, giving it the majority required to be elected host city.
Munich also launched a bid to host these Games. Prior to Beijing's successful 2022 Winter Olympics bid, Munich would have become the first city to host both the Winter and the Summer Games, having previously hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics, but received 25 votes. Annecy (in southeastern France) launched a bid, but failed to secure public support from local citizens. Their bid received seven votes.
Host city electionEdit
|2018 Winter Olympics bidding results|
Ticket prices for the 2018 Winter Olympics were announced in April 2016 and went on sale in October 2016, ranging from ₩20,000 (approximately US$17) to ₩900,000 (US$776). Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies range from ₩220,000 (US$190) to ₩1.5 million (US$1293). The exact prices were determined through market research; around 50% of the tickets are expected to cost about ₩80,000 (US$69) or less, and tickets in sports that are relatively unknown in the region, such as biathlon and luge, will be made cheaper in order to encourage attendance. By contrast, figure skating and the men's hockey gold-medal game carry the most expensive tickets of the Games.
As of 11 October 2017, domestic ticket sales for the Games have been slow. Of the 750,000 seats allocated to South Koreans, only 20.7% have been sold. International sales have been better, with 59.7% of the 320,000 allocated tickets sold. In total, 69% of tickets have been sold. Sales of tickets to the Paralympic Games are increasing, with 70% of them sold.
On 5 August 2011, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the formation of the Pyeongchang 2018 Coordination Commission. On 4 October 2011, it was announced that the Organizing Committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics would be headed by Kim Jin-sun. The Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) was launched at its inaugural assembly on 19 October 2011. The first tasks of the organizing committee were putting together a master plan for the games as well as forming a design for the venues. The IOC Coordination Commission for the 2018 Winter Olympics made their first visit to Pyeongchang in March 2012. By then, construction was already underway on the Olympic Village. In June 2012, construction began on a high-speed rail line that will connect Pyeongchang to Seoul.
The International Paralympic Committee met for an orientation with the Pyeongchang 2018 organizing committee in July 2012. Then-IOC President Jacques Rogge visited Pyeongchang for the first time in February 2013.
On 27 June 2014 the Pyeongchang Olympic Committee announced their mascot selection contest. The contest ran from 15 September 2014 to 30 September 2014. The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in Pyeongchang.
The Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games created Pyeongchang WINNERS in 2014 by recruiting university students living in South Korea to spread awareness of the Olympic Games through social networking services and news articles.
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The torch relay started on 24 October 2017 and will end at the start of the Olympics on 9 February 2018. On 1 November 2017 the relay entered Korea.
Pyeongchang (Mountain cluster)Edit
Alpensia Sports ParkEdit
- Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium – opening and closing ceremonies
- Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre – ski jumping, Nordic combined, snowboarding (big air)
- Alpensia Biathlon Centre – biathlon
- Alpensia Cross-Country Centre – cross-country skiing, Nordic combined
- Alpensia Sliding Centre – luge, bobsleigh, and skeleton
- Olympic Village
- Yongpyong Alpine Centre – alpine skiing (slalom, giant slalom)
- Bokwang Snow Park – freestyle skiing and snowboard
- Jeongseon Alpine Centre – alpine skiing (downhill, super-G, and combined)
Gangneung (Coastal cluster)Edit
- Gangneung Hockey Centre – ice hockey (men competition)
- Gangneung Curling Centre – curling
- Gangneung Oval – speed skating
- Gangneung Ice Arena – short track speed skating and figure skating
In addition, a stand-alone venue is located on the grounds of Catholic Kwandong University:
- Kwandong Hockey Centre – ice hockey (women competition)
The 2018 Winter Olympics will feature 102 events in 15 sports. Four new disciplines in existing sports will be introduced in Pyeongchang, including big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing. It will also feature two eSports tournaments (for StarCraft II and Steep) organized by Intel (part of the Intel Extreme Masters series) and supported by the IOC as a demonstration sport prior to the Opening Ceremony.
For the first time since 1998, the National Hockey League will not provide accommodations (including a break in the season for all teams during the Olympics) to allow its players to participate in the men's ice hockey tournament. The NHL's decision stemmed from their demands that the IOC cover the cost of insuring the NHL players who participate in the Games. Although it did pay to insure NHL players in Sochi, the IOC was unwilling to do so for Pyeongchang, and was concerned that the NHL's demand could set a precedent for other professional sports bodies to follow. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman added that a factor in the decision was that the IOC did not allow the NHL to promote the involvement of its players in the Olympics. The NHL secured the cooperation of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the IOC, who agreed to establish a blacklist forbidding national teams from nominating or accepting players under NHL contract to their Olympic rosters.
Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each sports discipline.
- Alpine skiing (11) ( )
- Biathlon (11) ( )
- Bobsleigh (3) ( )
- Cross-country skiing (12) ( )
- Curling (3) ( )
- Figure skating (5) ( )
- Freestyle skiing (10) ( )
- Ice hockey (2) ( )
- Luge (4) ( )
- Nordic combined (3) ( )
- Short track speed skating (8) ( )
- Skeleton (2) ( )
- Ski jumping (4) ( )
- Snowboarding (10) ( )
- Speed skating (14) ( )
Participating National Olympic CommitteesEdit
- A total of 94 teams have qualified at least one athlete so far (93 nations, and the delegation from Russia which will compete under the IOC flag).
- Six nations: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore are scheduled to make their Winter Olympics debut.
- North Korean athletes will be allowed to cross the DMZ into South Korea. North Korea agreed in negotiations with South Korea to send the qualified athletes for the Winter Olympics. The two nations will march under one flag during the opening ceremony and are trying to get approval to send combined teams in ice hockey and bobsleigh.
- On 5 December 2017 it was announced that the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended effective immediately. Individual athletes who qualified and can demonstrate they have complied with the IOC's doping regulations will be allowed to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia," (OAR) under a neutral flag and with the Olympic anthem played in any ceremony.
|OC||Opening ceremony||●||Event competitions||1||Event finals||EG||Exhibition gala||CC||Closing ceremony|
|Cross country skiing||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||2||1||1||12|
|Short track speed skating||1||1||2||1||3||8|
The emblem for the Games was unveiled on 3 May 2013. It is a stylized representation of the hangul letters ㅍ p and ㅊ ch, being the initial sounds of 평창 Pyeongchang. Additionally the left symbol is said to represent the Korean philosophical triad of heaven, earth and humanity (Korean: 천지인 cheon-ji-in), and the right symbol a crystal of ice.
The name of the host city has been intentionally formatted in all official materials as "PyeongChang", rather than "Pyeongchang". This is to alleviate potential confusion with Pyongyang, the similarly-named capital of neighbouring North Korea.
Broadcast rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics in some countries were already sold as part of long-term broadcast rights deals, including the Games' local rightsholder SBS—which extended its rights to the Olympics in July 2011 through 2024. SBS affilate G1 in Gangwon will provide its international feed. 
On 29 June 2015, the IOC announced that Discovery Communications had acquired exclusive rights to the Olympics across Europe, excluding Russia, from 2018 through 2024 on all platforms. Discovery's rights deal will, initially, not cover France due to pre-existing rights deals with France Télévisions that run through the 2020 Games. Unlike previous pan-European deals, such as with the European Broadcasting Union and Sportfive, Discovery will not serve solely as a reseller, as it intends to carry coverage on its regional properties, such as Eurosport and DMAX, but it has committed to sub-license at least 100 hours of coverage to free-to-air networks. In the United Kingdom, Discovery will hold exclusive pay television rights under license from the BBC; in return, the BBC will sub-license the free-to-air rights to the 2022 and 2024 Olympics from Discovery.
In the United States, the Games will once again be broadcast by NBC under a long-term contract with NBCUniversal; it will be NBC's first Olympics without long-time primary host Bob Costas, who announced on 7 February 2017 his retirement from the role in favour of Mike Tirico. On 28 March 2017, NBC also said that it would air most primetime coverage simultaneously in all time zones in the United States, and not broadcast on a tape delay as they had in past Olympics.
Concerns and controversiesEdit
On 20 September 2017, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said the country is pushing to ensure security at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games amid rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear tests and a series of missile launches. However, on the next day, French Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Laura Flessel-Colovic said France's Winter Olympics team will not travel to South Korea if the security of the delegation cannot be guaranteed.
On 22 September 2017, Austria and Germany joined France in considering not attending the Games. Karl Stoss, head of Austria's national Olympic committee, said that "if the situation worsens and the security of our athletes is no longer guaranteed, we will not go to South Korea." The German interior ministry said the security question and the possibility of keeping the German team at home would be addressed "in good time" by the government. Several days later, Laura Flessel-Colovic reaffirmed France's participation in the games. Both countries have yet to decide on reaffirming.
In early December 2017, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told Fox News that it was an "open question" whether the United States was going to participate in the games, citing security concerns in the region. However, days later the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, stated that the United States "looks forward to participating" and will attend. It was later announced that Vice President Mike Pence will attend the opening ceremony.
Jeongseon Alpine Centre Ecological IssuesEdit
Environmental groups have raised concerns surrounding the deforestation from the slopes of Gariwang mountain to build the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. Officials claim it is necessary as it is the only slope that will accommodate Olympic requirements and the forest will be restored after the games are done. Environmental groups are sceptical as the forest includes old growth of ancient and rare species.
On 5 December 2017, the IOC announced that the Russian Olympic Committee had been suspended effective immediately from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Athletes who had no previous drug violations and a consistent history of drug testing were to be allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia" (OAR). Under the terms of the decree, Russian government officials were barred from the Games, and neither the country's flag nor anthem would be present. The Olympic Flag and Olympic Anthem will be used instead, and on 20 December 2017 the IOC proposed an alternate logo for the uniforms (seen at right). IOC President Thomas Bach said that "after following due process [the IOC] has issued proportional sanctions for this systematic manipulation while protecting the clean athletes." As of January 2018, the IOC had sanctioned 43 Russian athletes from the 2014 Winter Olympics and banned them from competing in the 2018 edition. All but one of these athletes appealed against their bans to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Reaction in RussiaEdit
In the past, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, and other officials had said that it would be a humiliation for Russia if its athletes were not allowed to compete under the Russian flag. However, his spokesman later said that no boycott had been discussed. After the IOC decision was announced, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, announced that no Chechen athletes would participate under a neutral flag. On 6 December, Putin stated that the Russian government would not prevent any athletes from participating at the Games as individuals, but there were calls from other politicians for a boycott. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has said that the United States "fears honest competition", affirming Vladimir Putin's position who had said that the United States used its influence withing the International Olympic Committee to "orchestrate the doping scandal".
The IOC's decision was criticized by Jack Robertson, primary investigator of the Russian doping program on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency, who said that the IOC has issued "a non-punitive punishment meant to save face while protecting the [IOC’s] and Russia’s commercial and political interests". He also emphasized that Russian whistleblowers provided empirical evidence that "99 percent of [their] national-level teammates were doping." According to Robertson, "[WADA] has discovered that when a Russian athlete [reaches] the national level, he or she [has] no choice in the matter: [it is] either dope, or you’re done". "There is currently no intelligence I have seen or heard about that indicates the state-sponsored doping program has ceased", he added. It was also reported that Russian officials intensively lobbied US politicians in an apparent attempt to achieve Grigory Rodchenkov's (main whistleblower) extradition to Russia.
Notes and referencesEdit
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- Cite error: The named reference
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