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2018 Winter Olympics
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Below is a Wikipedia article on the 2018 Winter Olympics:

The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (Korean: 제23회 동계 올림픽, translit. Jeisipsamhoe Donggye Ollimpik) and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is an ongoing international multi-sport event hosted by the county of Pyeongchang, South Korea. The county was selected as the Olympic host in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. It marked the first time that South Korea had hosted the Winter Olympics, the second Olympics ever held in the country (the first being the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul), and the first time since the 1998 Winter Olympics that the Winter Olympics have been held in all of East Asia.

The Winter Olympics runs from 9 to 25 February 2018. The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports, including the addition of big air snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic programme. A total of 2,952 athletes from 92 National Olympic Committees are expected to compete, including the debut of Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.

The lead-up to these Games was affected by the ongoing tensions between South Korea and North Korea, and also the ongoing missile crisis involving North Korea. These led to security concerns, with several countries threatening to skip the games if their safety was not ensured, including the United States. In January 2018, after their first high-level talks in over two years, North Korea agreed to participate in the Games. The countries also marched together during the opening ceremony and agreed to field a unified women's hockey team.

Pyeongchang bid to host both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, but lost in the final rounds of voting to Vancouver and Sochi respectively.[3]

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.[4]

Pyeongchang was elected as the host city at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban in 2011, earning the necessary majority of at least 48 votes in just one round of voting, with more votes than its competitors combined. Pyeongchang is the third Asian city to host the Winter Games; the first two were in Japan, at Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998).[5][6]

On 5 August 2011, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the formation of the Pyeongchang 2018 Coordination Commission.[7][8] 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.[9] 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.[10][11] In June 2012, construction began on a high-speed rail line that is to connect Pyeongchang to Seoul.[12]

The International Paralympic Committee met for an orientation with the Pyeongchang 2018 organizing committee in July 2012.[13] Then-IOC President Jacques Rogge visited Pyeongchang for the first time in February 2013.[14]

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.[15]

The torch relay started on 24 October 2017 in Greece and ended at the start of the Olympics on 9 February 2018. On 1 November 2017 the relay entered Korea. The relay lasted 101 days. There were 7,500 torch bearers to represent the Korean population of 75 million people. There were also 2018 support runners to guard the torch and act as messengers.

The torch and its bearers traveled by a diverse means of transportation, including by turtle ship in Hansando Island, sailboat on the Baengmagang River in Buyeo, marine cable car in Yeosu, zip-wire over Bamseom Island, steam train in the Gokseong Train Village, marine rail bike along the east coast in Samcheok, and by yacht in Busan Metropolitan City.

There were also robot torch relays in Jeju and Daejeon.[16]

The Olympic events are held in the county of Pyeongchang, except for the ice events, which take place in the neighboring city of Gangneung, and downhill, super-G and combined, which take place in the neighboring county of Jeongseon.

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, are 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.[20]

As of 11 October 2017, domestic ticket sales for the Games were reported to be slow. Of the 750,000 seats allocated to South Koreans, only 20.7% had been sold. International sales have been better, with 59.7% of the 320,000 allocated tickets sold.[21][22] However, as of 31 January 2018, 77% of all tickets have been sold.[23]

Opening ceremony[edit]
Main article: 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony
The opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics was held at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on 9 February 2018; the US$100 million facility is only used for the ceremonies of these Olympics and Paralympics, and is slated to be demolished following their conclusion.[24]

The 2018 Winter Olympics features 102 events in 15 sports,[25] making it the first Winter Olympics to surpass 100 medal events. Six new events in existing sports were introduced to the Winter Olympic program in Pyeongchang, including men's and ladies' big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, men's and ladies' mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing.[26][25]

For the first time since 1998, the National Hockey League did 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.[27][28][29] 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.[30][31]

A total of 95 teams have qualified at least one athlete so far, with 92 of them expected to compete. Six nations are scheduled to make their Winter Olympics debut: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.[32][33]

Athletes from the Cayman Islands, Dominica and Peru qualified to compete, but all three National Olympic Committees returned the quota spots back to the International Ski Federation (FIS).[34]

Under an agreement with North Korea, its qualified athletes are allowed to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone into South Korea and compete in the games.[35][36][37] The two nations marched together under the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony.[38][39] A Unified Korea women's ice hockey team is also competing under a separate IOC country code designation (COR); in all other sports, there is a separate North Korea team and a separate South Korea team.[40] See North Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics for further details.

On 5 December 2017 the IOC announced that the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended due to the Russian doping controversy. Individual athletes who qualified and can demonstrate they have complied with the IOC's doping regulations instead compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) under a neutral flag and with the Olympic anthem played in any ceremony.[41]

The design of the medals reflects Korean traditions and culture. They weigh 586 grams for the gold medal to 493 grams for the bronze. The obverse shows the Olympic rings and diagonal lines whose design was inspired by tree trunks and symbolize the athletes determination. The reverse states the sport, event and the PyeongChang 2018 emblem. 259 sets of the medals have been cast.[49]

They are the work of celebrated South Korean designer Lee Suk-woo, who incorporated Hangeul – the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture – into their design through a series of consonants symbolizing the effort of athletes from around the world, who will come together as one to compete. The ribbon was 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, among other designs.[49]

On 8 February 2018, the day before the opening of the Games, Noriaki Kasai of Japan participated in the ski jumping qualification. In doing so he became the first athlete in history to participate in eight Winter Olympics.[51] The previous record was from the Russian luger Albert Demchenko, with seven participations.

Several Olympic records were set in speed skating and short track speed skating. A new ISU best score was set in figure skating. Two podium sweeps were recorded during the Games; for the Netherlands in speed skating, and for Norway in cross-country skiing.

Shaun White also set a record in winning Gold in the men's snowboarding half pipe, recording Team USA's 100th all-time gold medal.

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 had extended its rights to the Olympics through 2024 in July 2011.[52]

On 29 June 2015, the IOC announced that Discovery Communications had acquired exclusive rights to the Olympics across Europe, 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, and does not cover Russia due to a pre-existing rights deal through 2024 by the marketing agency Telesport.[53] Unlike previous pan-European deals, such as with the European Broadcasting Union and Sportfive (who only served as a reseller of the rights to local broadcasters), Discovery broadcasts its coverage across its pan-European Eurosport networks and other local properties.[54] Discovery has committed to sub-license at least 100 hours of coverage to free-to-air networks in each market.[55][56][57] Some of these agreements do call for certain sports to be exclusive to Eurosport and its affiliated networks.[54] In some markets, the FTA rights are held by Discovery-owned channels, such as DMAX in Spain,[58] Kanal 5 in Sweden and TVNorge in Norway.[59] In the United Kingdom, Discovery holds 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.[60]

Despite the Russian team being formally banned from competing under its flag in Pyeongchang, Russian state broadcaster Channel One, and sports channel Match TV, still committed to covering the Games with a focus on Russian athletes.[53]

In the United States, the Games once again are broadcast by NBCUniversal properties under a long-term contract; it is 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.[61][62] 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 (although as per prior practice, the opening ceremonies are still scheduled to be delayed for the U.S. audience). U.S. Eastern Time is 14 hours behind Pyeongchang, which allows certain events to be broadcast live in the U.S. primetime hours.[63][64]

NHK and OBS once again filmed portions of the Games, including 90 hours of footage of selected events and the opening ceremonies, in high-dynamic-range 8K resolution video.[65][66] In South Korea, ATSC 3.0 terrestrial broadcasts at 4K resolution were introduced in 2017 in time for the Olympics.[67][68] In the U.S., this footage is being delivered exclusively on a delayed basis by NBCUniversal parent Comcast to participating providers in 4K, including its own Xfinity, as well as DirecTV and Dish Network.[69]

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.[70]

The name of the host city has been intentionally written in CamelCase as "PyeongChang", rather than "Pyeongchang", in all official materials. This is to alleviate potential confusion with Pyongyang, the similarly-named capital of neighbouring North Korea.[71]

The official pictograms for 24 sports across 15 disciplines were revealed in January 2017 and are designed using the Korean alphabet as inspiration.[72]

The official mascots for the Games, Soohorang (수호랑), a white tiger, and Bandabi (반다비), an Asiatic black bear, were unveiled on 2 June 2016.[73][74]

In June 2017, Ubisoft announced that it would release an expansion pack for its winter sports video game Steep entitled Road to the Olympics, which features new game modes and content inspired by the 2018 Winter Olympics.[75][76]

In November 2017, it was announced that the IOC would support and sponsor an Intel Extreme Masters StarCraft II tournament in Pyeongchang preceding the Games. Its support of the tournament as a de facto demonstration event came on the heels of a report by the IOC which recognized that eSports "could be considered as a sporting activity".[77][78][79] The tournament was won by Canadian Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn; her victory makes her only the second North American pro to ever place first at a major StarCraft II tournament in South Korea and the first woman to ever win a major tournament.[80][81]

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