The rugged road to 2018 Olympic Winter Games

The official emblems of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are seen at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. The rival Koreas will sit down for their first formal talks in more than two years next week to find ways to cooperate on the Winter Olympics in the South and to improve their abysmal ties, Seoul officials said Friday. While a positive sign after last year's threats of nuclear war, the Koreas have a long history of failing to move past their deep animosity. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Olympic Winter Games is a major international sporting event held once every four years, for sports practiced on snow and ice. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has selected Pyeongchang, South Korea, to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Beijing, China, to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic known as “PyeongChang 2018” is scheduled to take place from 9 to 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. So far, a total of 89 delegations have been qualified to participate in the games with five countries’ debut including Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The first Winter Olympics, the 1924 Winter Olympics, was held in Chamonix, France. The original five sports (broken into nine disciplines) were bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (consisting of the disciplines military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping), and skating (consisting of the disciplines figure skating and speed skating). The Games were held every four years from 1924 to 1936, interrupted in 1940 and 1944 by World War II, and resumed in 1948. Until 1992 the Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in the same years, but in accordance with a 1986 decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Olympics after 1992 was in 1994.

Sergei Chudinov of Russia is seen in a multiple exposure photograph as he races down the track at the Sanki Sliding Centre during Heat 3 of the Men’s Skeleton at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Until now, there are 15 sports broken into 102 disciplines for Winter Olympics including alpine skiing,biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle kiing, ice hockey, luge, nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating. According to official data of the International Olympic Committee, three most successful nations of Winter Olympic in order are Norway, the United States and Germany and other countries are on the list of ten most successful nations including the Soviet Union, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, and Finland. Compared to the list of Summer Olympics, it’s obvious that the countries whose weather is colder are more favorable for Winter Olympics, and national power and population affected less to the performance.

Pyeongchang won its bid on the first round of voting, receiving more votes than both Munich, Germany and Annecy, France combined. These will be South Korea’s second Olympic Games and its first Winter Games; Seoul hosted the Summer Games in 1988. However, before the opening ceremony, it seems like many knotty difficulties trying to obstruct games.

South Koreans watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s address, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. The part of letters on the bottom “South Korea and U.S., Nuclear War exercise.” and on top left, “Kim Jong Un delivers New Year’s address.” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, the United States should be aware that his country’s nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. But he also struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year’s address, wishing success for the Winter Olympics set to begin in the South in February and suggesting the North may send a delegation to participate.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

First, Russia’s status remained unclear due to the state-sponsored doping scandal. On 5 December 2017 it was announced that the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended effective immediately. Individual athletes who qualified and can demonstrate they have complied with the IOC’s doping regulations will be allowed to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” (OAR) under a neutral flag and with the Olympic anthem played in any ceremony. Second, North Korean athletes will be allowed to cross the DMZ into South Korea since two North Korean figure skaters qualified. Nonetheless, due to the tension between the North and the South, Trump and the president of South Korea have spoken on the phone to discuss this issue, and on Tuesday, North Korea has reopened the hotlines cut in 2016 with South Korea to discuss its participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Today, South Korea’s unification department announced that North Korea has accepted the proposal of South Korea that the two sides will hold official talks next Tuesday (September 9).

Last but not least, the rumor of the curse of the Olympics seems to bring PyeongChang 2018 a lot of financial difficulties. South Korean has no interest in this upcoming international sports event, and only 30% of South Korean are concerned about it; not to mention the box office is less than 10% of the target. Even worse, the host city is suffering from a lack of budget and sponsorship with a shortfall of nearly NTD$8.6 billion dollars in total operating funds.

Models wearing the uniforms used in the victory ceremonies for 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games attend during an unveiling ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. South Korea’s Pyeongchang is the host city of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games which will be held from February 2018. (Choi Jae-gu/Yonhap via AP)
Dolls mascot of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, white tiger “Soohorang” are seen at the shop in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. The rival Koreas will sit down for their first formal talks in more than two years next week to find ways to cooperate on the Winter Olympics in the South and to improve their abysmal ties, Seoul officials said Friday. While a positive sign after last year’s threats of nuclear war, the Koreas have a long history of failing to move past their deep animosity. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)