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2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The games took place February 9-25, 2018. The Paralympics were held March 9-18, 2018.

This was the first time South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics. The 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea.
The estimated cost of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was $10 billion, five times less than the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which were estimated to be the costliest ever.
To avoid any potential confusion with North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, the PyeongChang resort – which is just 50 miles south of the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries – changed its name for the Games, by capitalizing the “C.”
The city lost by three votes to Vancouver for hosting duties in the 2010 Olympics, and by just four votes to Sochi for the 2014 event.
Development of high-speed rail lines was key to the country’s Olympic bid, as Pyeongchang is rather isolated. The new train lines allow individuals to travel from Seoul to Pyeongchang in less than an hour.
In total, 13 venues, split between Pyeongchang and neighboring Gangneung, were used during the 17 days of the Games. Six new venues were built, and additional venues were renovated for the Games.
A record 102 medals were awarded in 15 disciplines.
For the first time, viewers in all US time zones had access to live coverage of the games, instead of a delayed replay.
October 16, 2009 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announces that three cities have applied to host the games: Munich, Annecy, France, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.
June 22, 2010 – The three cities are selected as finalists to host the 2018 Olympics.
June 7, 2011 – NBC and Comcast are awarded the rights to continue broadcasting the Olympic Games through 2020 for $4.38 billion. Since 1964, NBC has broadcast 16 editions of the game.
July 6, 2011 – The winning city, Pyeongchang, is announced in Durban, South Africa.
May 3, 2013 – The PyeongChang Organization Committee (POC) unveils the official Olympics emblem.
June 9, 2015 – The IOC announces the addition of six events: one alpine skiing event, two snowboarding events, two skating events, and one curling event. This increases the total number of gold medals to 102, allowing the PyeongChang 2018 Games to be the first in Winter Olympic history to hold more than 100 medal events.
June 2, 2016 – PyeongChang announces the official mascots for the games: Soohorang, a white tiger, and Bandabi, an Asiatic black bear.
April 3, 2017 – The National Hockey League (NHL) announces no break in the 2017-2018 schedule for the participation in the PyeongChang Games. Players part of NHL teams will not be allowed to participate in the Games.
September 21, 2017 – France threatens to skip the Olympics over safety concerns, due to Pyeongchang’s proximity to North Korea and North Korea’s recent testing of atomic weapons.
October 19, 2017 – The IOC announces Apostolos Angelis, a 24 year-old cross-country skier from Greece, will be the first torchbearer for the 2018 Olympic Games.
October 24, 2017 – In the role of high priestess, Greek actress Katerina Lehou lights the Olympic torch before the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera, the site of Ancient Olympia. The torch is then handed to Angelis, the first torchbearer, who then passes it to its first South Korean torchbearer, former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung.
October 24, 2017 – Despite concerns over safety by other European countries, Germany reaffirms its participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
November 1, 2017 – The flame arrives in the Republic of Korea, 100 days before the Games are scheduled to begin.
November 7, 2017 – The POC announces that the 13 sporting venues are currently 99.7% completed.
November 17, 2017 – The Nigerian bobsled team qualifies for the 2018 Olympics, becoming both the first Nigerian team and the first African female competitors to be represented at the Winter Olympics.
December 5, 2017 – The IOC announces that Russia is banned from participating in the 2018 Olympics due to a lengthy doping investigation. Clean athletes will be allowed to participate under the generic Olympic flag.
January 20, 2018 – The IOC announces North Korea will participate in the Winter Olympics. North Korea and South Korea will march together under one flag during the opening ceremonies.
February 6, 2018 – The POC says that 1,200 security guards have been pulled from duty following a norovirus outbreak at the Olympic facilities, and 900 South Korean military personnel have replaced them. As of February 4, 41 security guards had suffered from symptoms of the virus.
February 9, 2018 – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, along with a North Korean delegation, attends the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the North’s ruling dynasty to visit the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The appearance at the Olympics is part of a three-day visit to the South.
February 22, 2018 – Valentina Parinova, spokeswoman for the Russian Curling Federation, tells broadcaster Russia-1 that Aleksandr Krushelnitckii and his wife and curling partner, Anastasia Bryzgalova, gave back their bronze medals, after he tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.
February 28, 2018 – The IOC confirms that all remaining drug test results from Russian athletes came back negative, and “as stated in the Executive Board decision of 25th February the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect.”

Alexander Gruysson