Pyeongchang is a city located in South Korea and the world’s focus will be upon it on February 8, 2018,* the start of the Winter Olympic Games. Here are some fun facts about PyeongChang, South Korea. (If you’re looking for fun facts about the Winter Olympics and not the host city, click here.)
+ PyeongChang is located in the Gangwon province, which is in eastern South Korea.
+ PyeongChang is the smallest city to host an Olympic Games, summer or winter, since the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
+ South Korea does not have open container laws like we do in the U.S. Public drinking is fine, and people can carry alcoholic containers in public and can take a drink or two.
+ PyeongChang is the first city in South Korea and only the second country in Asia to host the Winter Olympics. (Sapporo and Nagano Japan have both played host to the Winter Games.) The 1988 Summer Olympics took place in Seoul, South Korea.
+ PyeongChang is approximately a 2.5 hour car ride from Seoul when there is no traffic. A new high-speed railway is cutting travel time in half between the two cities.
If you’re looking for ways to make watching the Winter Olympics educational for your kids, click here.
+ Many of the events will take place at the Alpensia Ski Resort. All venues are within 30 minutes of the Olympic Stadium.
+ Third time’s a charm! This was the third time that PyeongChang bid to host the Winter Olympics. The city lost to Sochi, Russia and Vancouver, Canada. Other cities that submitted a bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2018 included Munich, Germany and Annecy, France.
+ The mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang. The white color is meant to evoke the snow and ice of winter sports. The white tiger is viewed as a guardian that helps protect the country and its people in Korean mythology.
+ Gangwon Province is known for its mountain vegetables and hanwoo beef, which is tender and similar to Wagyu beef.
You can see a sneak peak of the venues here:
* Competition begins on February 8th, but the Opening Ceremonies will be held on February 9th.
Sources: Pyeongchang thinking big with one year to 2018 Winter Olympics on USA Today, PC2018.com, “Pyeongchang and the South Korea ski culture” on CNN.com, “Where Is The Next Winter Olympics? Facts About The 2018 Games” on IBTimes.com, “Meet Soohorang” on Olympics.org
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