The Winter Olympics started in earnest today in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Millions from around the world will watch as almost 3,000 athletes from 92 countries compete in the biggest winter sporting event in the world. Here’s a look at the Games by numbers:
- 92 – 92 countries, from Iceland to India, are participating in the Games over the next fortnight. Among the countries taking part for the first time in the Winter Olympics this year include Kosovo, Eritrea, Nigeria and Singapore. A unified Korean team is also taking part in the Games for women’s hockey, and Russian athletes are not participating under their national flag – after their Olympic Committee was suspended following continued allegations of a state-sponsored doping program.
- 50 – The host city, Pyeongchang, sits only 50 miles from the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea. The two countries have had a particularly tense relationship, following a number of missile tests and a powerful nuclear test in September last year.
- 102 – Athletes are competing in 102 events in 15 different disciplines, with big air snowboarding, mixed team alpine skiing, mixed doubles circling and mass start speed skating featuring for the first time in the programme. Pyeongchang is the first Winter Olympics to hold more than 100 events.
- 58 – 58 competitors from Great Britain will be going for gold in Pyeongchang. The final team had numbered 59, but snowboarder Katie Ormerod was forced to pull out the day before the Games following a broken heel. Team GB are aiming to bring home at least five medals – a haul which would top the record set in 2014 (four medals, with one gold).
- 1988 – South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics for the first time, after hosting the Summer Olympics for the first (and so far only) time thirty years ago in 1988. Those Games, hosted in the South Korean capital Seoul, were boycotted by North Korea and were the last Olympics the Soviet Union participated in.
- 86,000,000,000 – The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, is expected to cost 86 billion won ($76 million/£57.2 million). Built on a 80,000 square metre site and seating 35,000 people, the stadium is due to be demolished following the Games. Overall, these Games have cost $12.9 billion (£9.3 billion) to host, much less than the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which cost over a staggering $50 billion (£36.2 billion).
- -15 – Temperatures in Pyeongchang are expected to drop to -15C for the first few days of the Games, making it the coldest Winter Olympics on record. Some athletes chose to skip today’s Opening Ceremony, fearing that standing for several hours in the freezing conditions could hurt their health in the run up to competition. Venues have also had to take precautions, with metal handles being wrapped in thick fabric to protect hands.