Freezing temperature frightens fans at S/Korea Winter Olympics

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Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics rings near the venue for the Opening and Closing ceremony in PyeongChang

(Reuters/NAN) Athletes for the forthcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are battling with cold temperature which hovers between minus 10 and minus 20 degrees Celsius.

However, athletes for Games on Monday welcomed the cold, while fans shiver.

The weather has freezing temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius in the day and around minus 20 (minus four degrees Fahrenheit) during the night.

This can prove challenging for the last week of preparation before the opening on Friday.

In Pyeongchang, big coats, gloves and good shoes are a must to face the cold, enhanced by strong winds.

One student from Seoul, on holiday with his parents, said even South Koreans were not used to such low temperatures.

“It’s not usually this cold in this area in this season but very cold, I cannot even think of the words, I think my brain is frozen or something,” shivered student Kyungtae Lim, visiting from Seoul.

“I‘m a little bit worried about Olympic players… many of the players are from not so cold countries. So, I don’t think they’ll perform very well, and I‘m also worried about the tourists.”

On Friday, when the Games will be officially launched at the opening ceremony, spectators fortunate enough to have got a ticket will have to wrap up at the outdoor stadium.

The facility is at the Olympic Plaza where temperatures will be hard to sustain.

But for the athletes, cold temperatures are good news as the snow and the courses remain stable throughout the competition.

“I‘m not (happy about the cold), like my body’s not,” smiled U.S. mogul skier Brad Wilson.

“But as far as the conditions go, absolutely (I am happy). We’re in winter sports for a reason, when it’s cold like this it’s good, it’s a good thing, yeah. As long as we can stay warm.”

“We haven’t had to deal with a ton of cold this year, it’s been pretty warm,” added U.S. mogul skier Jaelin Kauf.

“It just means pack more layers… maybe do a lot extra warm-up at the top of the course, but that’s about it.”


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