PyeongChang 2018 © Getty Images
The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea will kick off the events this year with an opening ceremony at 8pm KST today (11am GMT). With 102 events in 15 sports, this will be one of the most exciting Winter Olympics ever, particularly for Britain. UK Sport has invested over £30m in Team GB for the PyeongChang Olympics, more than double the budget for the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, and is optimistic about delivering the best performance ever at PyeongChang 2018. As Korea is nine hours ahead of Britain, viewers will have to plan carefully and wake up early in the morning to see some of the events live.
Team GB 2018 is the country’s largest Winter Olympic team ever and hopes to bring home 5 medals this year, which would beat the record of 4 medals earned in Sochi in 2014 and previously in 1924. There are high hopes on both the skiing and the snowboarding teams, particularly Izzy Atkin, James Woods, Katie Summerhayes and Dave Ryding.
Isabel Atkin © Team BSS
PyeongChang 2018 will feature four new disciplines: big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating and mixed team alpine skiing. British athlete Katie Ormerod, a medal hopeful for big-air snowboarding, has been ruled out of the Olympics following a severe heel fracture. This brings Team GB's skiing and snowboarding contingent down to 24.
Yesterday sucked! After dreaming of competing at the Olympics for years, I finally got there and received the most bad luck I’ve ever had! After breaking my wrist on the first training day I was determined to still train, compete and do my best but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I severely broke my heel into 2 pieces so having surgery in a couple of hours to get it fixed. Words can’t describe how gutted I am but thank you to everyone for all your support and kind words!! Also a massive good luck to my team mates competing this weekend...you guys better kill it! 😜🙌
The opening ceremony will feature the lighting of the torch, as well as the athletes’ parade and a performance by South Korea. As Britain’s only gold medalist at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, skeleton athlete Lizzy Yarnold has been chosen to carry the British flag. She hopes to win another Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang.
Temperatures during the opening ceremony are expected to hover between -2 C and -5 C, with wind chill factor bringing it down even lower. Attendees are to be given blankets, hats and seat warmers as the open-air stadium is not heated. Although the opening ceremony is set to happen in just a few hours, several qualifiers have already taken place, including in ski jumping, alpine and freestyle skiing. You can watch the opening ceremony and the rest of the Olympic events on the BBC website. For the full schedule, click here.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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