Over 50,000 people will be participating from over 100 countries, with 15 disciplines, 12 venues and 102 gold medals.
Officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, this year’s games will be held in Pyeongchang, Korea, February 9 to 25.
While visiting the country and the Olympic site early last year the local Korean Tourist office gave me a peek at some of the winter festivities. For example, there are two major ski resorts that will play host to the Winter Games: the Alpensia ski resort with six slopes, to be used for snowboarding and skiing with runs up to 4,593 feet long, and Yongpyong Resort, which will be used for technical alpine skiing events during the games.
The majority of the snow events will be held at Alpensia even though Yongpyong Resort, opened by Intercontinental and Holiday Inn, does have 31 slopes available. Conveniently, all the stadiums are located within 30 minutes of each other. Olympic organizers said this year’s Olympic competition location is the most compact in all of the history of the winter games.
Located in the Taeaek Mountain Region, Pyeongchang is about 110 miles outside of the capital of Seoul. Since most visitors arriving in South Korea will touch down in Seoul, there will be an express shuttle from Seoul to Pyeongchang. This shuttle will take a little more than two-and-a-half hours. The KTX high-speed train, which began running December 22, 2017, will take around 70 minutes from Seoul to the Olympic destination.
While I was there I took a tour of the Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium, which was originally planned to be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. Later it was decided it will be the venue for the ski jumping part of the Nordic Combined events. Either way, it is located in a beautiful location that feels like it is at the top of the world.
Inspired by these games to head to Korea? You will want to visit a few of the Buddhist temples. The most notable one in the Winter Games area is Woljeongsa from the order of Jogye in Korean Buddhism and definitely worth a look.
Cover photo of the Olympic Torch Relay in Seoul, January 2018. Photo courtesy Republic of Korea