MOSCOW, February 1./TASS/. An official opening ceremony for the Olympic village that will house delegation members from teams taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games was held in South Korea’s PyeongChang on Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported.
The Olympic village has been divided into two clusters. The mountain cluster will accommodate 3,500 athletes competing in snow events, while the coastal cluster will house 2,700 athletes taking part in ice sports, including hockey and skating. The mountain cluster will be used for athletes only during the Olympics, while the coastal cluster will house participants of the Paralympic Games.
Norway’s athletes were the first to arrive in the mountain cluster, while the teams of Hungary, the Czech Republic and New Zealand settled in the houses in the coastal cluster. Athletes from 22 countries are expected to arrive in the Olympic village on the first day. Most North Korean delegates will arrive in South Korea later on Thursday and will live in the coastal cluster.
The official opening ceremony of the village was attended by President of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) Lee Hee-beom and South Korea's President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Lee Kee-heung.
The flags of all participating countries, including North Korea, were hoisted above the Olympic village. Under South Korea’s law, the hoisting of North Korea’s flag is officially banned, but this ban does not apply to official events carried out under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee.
Lugers and short track speed skaters were the first Russian athletes, who headed to South Korea. Due to the Russian Olympic Committee’s suspension, a total of 169 Russian athletes will perform at the Games under the Olympic flag and in uniforms reading ‘Olympic athlete from Russia.’
The Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang will be held on February 9-25.