Even though the temperatures in PyeongChang, South Korea are frigid, the Winter games are about to heat up. As athletes from around the world gather to compete, we thought we’d share some interesting facts about the host city of the 2018 Winter Games. We hope you enjoy this information and feel free to share with your students!
Fun Facts About PyeongChang
- PyeongChang is a county, not a city. PyeongChang is located in the Gangwon Province of South Korea located in the Taebaek Mountains region.1 It is approximately 110 miles away from Seoul which is the capital of South Korea.
- This is the first time South Korea will host the Winter Games. South Korea hosted the Summer Games in 1988.
- The site of PyeongChang is one of the coldest locations on Earth! This fact is due to its latitude. However, even though it’s cold, the region does not typically experience a lot of snow in February.2
- The topography is a skiers’ paradise! Eighty-four percent of its territory is comprised of mountains, with some areas over 3,000 feet high. Alpensia ski resort will be the home of most of the Olympic events. It has six slopes for skiing and snowboarding, with runs up to 4,593 feet long. The resort is open year round and caters to beginner and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
- What’s on the menu? Buckwheat pancakes with a side of kimchi? Yes you read that correctly — spicy kimchi; not maple syrup. Buckwheat pancakes are a popular food in PyeongChang since buckwheat is indigenous to the mountainous region of Gangwon-do.3 South Koreans fry spicy kimchi or regular cabbage and then add buckwheat pancake batter on top, resulting in a spicy, savory, and sweet meal.
- Speaking of food, what’s for snack? Athletes and tourists to the Olympic Games will be able to grab fresh fish balls from the PyeongChang Olympic Market. Fish balls are made from a batter of fish paste, veggies, and herbs which are then deep fried and best served hot.
- Is it Pyoengchang or PyeongChang (with a capital “C”)? They’re both correct! The capital of North Korea is Pyongyang, so in order to avoid any confusion, the PyeongChang resort decided to change its names for the Games, by capitalizing the “C.”4
- How much will the games cost the region? The estimated cost of this year’s Winter Games is $13 billion. Think that’s a lot? It’s actually five times less than the cost of the last games in Sochi in 2014.5 How was the money spent? South Korea built 97 new tunnels and 78 new bridges. They also built a new bullet train that takes riders the 110 miles from PyeongChang to Seoul.6 The new Olympic facilities cost hundreds of millions each.
- Tell me what I need to know about time zones. PyeongChang is 14 hours ahead of EST and 17 hours ahead of PST. For the first time, US viewers in all timezones will be able to enjoy the games in real time instead of on delay as in years past.
- Who is Soohorang? You might have seen Soohorang, who is a white tiger and the official mascot of the Games. According to the Olympic Committee, his name is “the combination of ‘sooho,’ which means protecting PyeongChang 2018 and world peace, and ‘rang’ from horangi,’ a Korean word for a tiger and ‘Jeongseon Arirang,’ a traditional Korean folk song.”7
From all of us at PLS Classes, we hope you enjoy the Winter Games this year!
Go Team USA!
2. PyeongChang to be coldest Winter Olympics site since Norway in 1994. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2018, from https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/pyeongchang-to-be-coldest-winter-olympics-site-since-norway-in-1994/70003855↩
3. C. (2018, January 25). Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics: What & Where to Eat! Retrieved February 08, 2018, from http://www.chopsticktravel.com/2018/01/25/pyeongchang-2018-winter-olympics-what-where-to-eat/↩
4. CNN Library. (2018, January 30). 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Fast Facts. Retrieved February 08, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/08/world/2018-pyeongchang-winter-olympics-fast-facts/index.html↩
6. Koman, T. (2018, February 07). 12 Things to Know About PyeongChang, Home of This Years Winter Olympics. Retrieved February 08, 2018, from http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a16639294/pyeongchang-olympic-village-facts/↩