- The brutally cold temperatures in Pyeongchang, South Korea could pose a threat to the Winter Olympics.
- Six people were treated for hypothermia at a recent concert held at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, which is open-aired.
- It is reportedly too late to build a roof on the stadium and too expensive to install central heat.
After balmy Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi, the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are expected to be cold and it may become an issue.
According to a report from The Associated Press, Pyeongchang gets so cold in the winter that it could pose a threat for everyone involved.
Pyeongchang is one of the coldest regions in South Korea and the temperature in February is often in single-digits Fahrenheit with the wind chill, according to AP. All of which could be trouble for both the athletes and the spectators.
As AP notes, the newly built Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium is a 35,000-seat, open-air venue that will be used only for the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympics and Paralympics. At a recent concert held in the stadium, six people were treated for hypothermia while others huddled in the bathrooms to get a break from the cold.
According to AP, it is too late to build a roof on the stadium and too expensive to install central heat. It could be a major problem for spectators sitting for five hours during the ceremonies. The AP reported that midmorning temperatures at the arena were recently recorded at below-zero Fahrenheit.
“We all hope it will be better in February, but if it’s like it is now, there will be big trouble. It’s just too cold for outsiders,” Choi Jong-sik, a Pyeongchang restaurant owner, told the AP.
Organizers reportedly plan to install portable heaters in the aisles at the stadium, provide spectators with blankets, heating pads, and serve hot drinks and food. The issue could obviously affect athletes wearing thinner uniforms for certain outdoor sports.
According to AP, the Sochi Olympics in 2014 reached into the 50s and 60s Farenheit at times. Pyeongchang will be a much different atmosphere.