The Peace Olympics

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics brings the world together


Vincent Towne, Staff Writer

Preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea have had their share of challenges, political as well as ticket and weather related issues, but officials say “The doubts cast on the news are not reflected on the ground.”

February’s games will be the first Winter Olympics in Asia in 20 years, and Spokeswoman for the PyeongChang 2018 Organization Committee (POCOC), Nancy Park, is saying that this is going to be the “largest and most compact” Winter Games. The total budget for the 2018 Olympics, including infrastructure and operations, is estimated at approximately $12.6 billion, which is still minute compared to the 2014 game’s $51 billion.

A lot of this money went to making the Olympic Villages for the athletes to stay in during the games. The one in PyeongChang has eight 15-story buildings, and the second village is located 37.4 miles north east of PyeongChang in Gangneung, and it will be home for the hockey players and skaters.

The PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, that will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, will seat 35,000. All of the venues will be within a 30 minute drive of the stadium. Most of the snow sports will take place in PyeongChang, the alpine speed events will compete in Jeongseon, and the ice related games will be held in the city of Gangneung near the coast.

POCOC wants to engage and connect the Korean people, as well as foreigners with the games. They plan on having complimentary shuttle busses going back and forth between the venues, accessible to ticket holders.

They have created an official PyeongChang 2018 app to help build up the enthusiasm. The app will have real time updates on the different sports, and will be available in five different languages; Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese and French.

The Olympic Torch relay after being lit on Oct, 24, 2017 in Athens, passed through eight major cities and arrived at the Olympic Stadium on Feb, 9, 2018. The 2,018 km relay included 7,500 runners to represent the 75 million people that live on the Korean peninsula.

This year’s games will also mark the unification of North and South Korea as they will march under one flag in the opening ceremonies. The two countries entered an unseen diplomacy and have been talking for days. They plan on joining together to make a unified women’s hockey team to compete. The Olympic Committee hopes that this year’s Winter games will unite North and South Korea for the first time since 1948, and make the first step towards peace.

PyeongChang 2018 Head Coordinator, Gunilla Lindberg, says “The local culture is what makes each Olympic Games so unique.” She continues, “I have no doubt the entire world will appreciate PyeongChang as a destination for winter sport after seeing the beauty of the region and experiencing Korean hospitality. I encourage everyone to come to support their athletes, experience Korean culture, talk to people at the venues and make friends for life.”

Even though PyeongChang has had some weather and ticket issues, POCOC ensures that this will be one of the most memorable, if not the best Winter Olympics in history.