After mild weather in Vancouver and Sochi, Pyeongchang faces extreme cold
Published Saturday, February 3, 2018 10:00PM EST
With the opening ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Games less than a week away, Pyeongchang is in the midst of a “cold wave warning,” according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
Located in the Taebaek Mountains, the Pyeongchang region is often blasted by glacial winds from Siberia, ushering in frostbite-inducing temperatures during the winter.
This year is no exception. On Sunday, temperatures sat at a brisk -11 C in the city and were expected to drop close to -20 C before the opening ceremonies on Feb. 9.
Even Canadians who are used to bone-chilling weather are shivering.
Veteran luger Arianne Jones told CTV News in Pyeongchang -- while wearing her red, white and black Team Canada parka – that the uniforms are, thankfully, warm.
As for people in the stadium, Jones hopes they’ll come prepared. “They’ll have their Canada mitts on, so hopefully they’ll be staying warm,” she said.
The opening and closing ceremonies will both be held in a new open-air facility with no central heating. Facing the potential of the coldest launch day in Olympics history, organizers have been forced to make contingency plans including portable heaters.
“Anybody that also is attending the ceremony (is) going to get a ceremony kit where we have the toque, a blanket, some hot pads for your hands, for your shoes,” Nancy Park of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee told CTV News.
Such preparations stand in stark contrast to recent game. Beach weather greeting athletes in 2014 in Sochi, Russia and there was wet, melted snow at the 2010 games in Vancouver.
But locals don’t mind. “It is a great thing it is cold here for the Winter Olympics,” one Pyeongchang resident told CTV News through a translator. “After all, that is the way it should be.”
Still, the International Olympic Committee has few words of advice for spectators.
“I shall be wearing very warm clothes myself,” Mark Adams of the IOC told reporters. “And I would advise everyone else to do the same.”
With a report from CTV News Montreal bureau chief Genevieve Beauchemin