2018 winter Olympics set to be the coldest in history

The Winter Olympics opening ceremony, which will be held ina roofless stadium, is set to be the coldest yet

The roofless stadium where the opening ceremony will be held
The roofless stadium where the opening ceremony will be held

The 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang begin on Friday and are set to be the coldest in history.

Built to hold 35,000 people, the open-air pentagonal Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics. The stadium is a  temporary structure that will be dismantled after the Olympics are over.

The organisers saved money and time by building the structure without a roof or heating.

In a news conference on Wednesday, the Korean Meteorological Administration reported that at 8:00 p.m. local time in Pyeongchang—when the opening ceremony is set to begin—it should be between 6C and -2C. The wind chill in the mountainous regions means it can feel as cold as -25C.

That would see the Games surpass the 1994 edition in Lillehammer, Norway, where temperatures dipped to -11C.

It will be certainly different from Sochi four years ago, when temperatures as high as 20C saw the Games go down as the warmest on record.

Over 17 days, more than 3,000 of the world's best athletes will compete in 102 medal events in 15 sports.

Around 77% of tickets have been sold - approximately 826,000 - across the 13 venues in South Korea.

Heat pads, blankets, a warm seat cushion and raincoats are on offer for spectators as they prepare to watch extreme sport in extreme weather in Pyeongchang.

The ceremony has also been cut to a quick two-hour march instead of the typical four-hour procession, and organizers have also installed heat shelters, large heaters, and windshields to try and make spectators more comfortable. The type of cold could be dangerous, with seven people reportedly suffered hypothermia while attending a concert at the Olympic Stadium this past November, while others huddled in the bathrooms to keep warm.

Olympic Controversy

The build-up to the Games has seen relations between North and South Korea smoothen out, with the countries introducing a joint women’s ice hockey team.North Korea have sent 22 athletes in five sports across the border to Pyeongchang after agreeing a breakthrough deal.

The two nations will also march together at the opening ceremony under a united flag.

As well as skiers and figure skaters, the North are also sending hundreds of delegates, cheerleaders and performers.

 The Games also saw a controversy over 169 Russian athletes set to compete as neutrals.