PyeongChang Winter Olympics start on Friday, Feb. 9, and everything that viewers need to be aware of before the opening ceremony is right here:
When do things get lit?
With 102 events crossing 15 sports, the flame will be lit at 8 p.m. local time in South Korea and the games will end on Feb 25. Pyeongchang is located around 80 miles from the capital city Seoul, and a mere 50 miles from North Korea’s border. North Korea plans to send athletes to the games with a unified Korean hockey team.
Eyes on the prize:
Those events make for 102 gold medals up for grabs, and for the first time the 23rd Olympic games will feature the following events: Snowboard big air, speed skating mass start, curling mixed doubles and the Alpine team.
Why should America care?
The U.S. will be sending 241 athletes, 12 more than were sent to Sochi in 2014. The Times reports that organizers said 2,925 athletes from 92 countries will compete this year. Compared to the Summer Olympics, this number seems small, with 10,500 athletes back in 2016. Regardless, this year’s number is a record setter for Winter Olympics history.
Countries who are joining the party:
Six countries that have never competed will be making a debut: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.
Major athletes to look out for:
Lindsey Vonn, a U.S. Olympic skier, was kept from competing in the Sochi Olympics in 2014 after injury. Mikaela Shiffrin, an American skier who will be returning to the games as the slalom champion, previously earned herself a title as the youngest champion ever in her event back in 2014.
Shawn White is returning with a solid focus on the snowboard half pipe event. He came in fourth place at Sochi with no medal to bring home. Chloe Kim, who was too young to compete at Sochi, will attend this year’s games. In 2016 she became the first woman to ever land two back-to-back 1080’s on a half pipe at the U.S. Grand Prix, scoring 100 points.
Some other cool runnings’:
The first Jamaican women’s bobsled team in history will compete in this year’s games.
It’s going to be DOPE:
The International Olympic Committee invited 169 athletes from Russia to compete in the games under the neutral flag. This comes after the infamous doping agenda in Sochi where the country was banned from competing.
NBC has promised to stream 2,400 hours of the games. For the first time ever, they will also show the games live in every time zone. Other ways to catch the games include NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA Network. Live streaming is available through NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports app.