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Key facts about 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang

The 23rd Winter Olympics will take place from February 9 to 25

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. PyeongChang (South Korea) will host the XXIII Winter Olympic Games from February 9 to 25, 2018.

PyeongChang was selected the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, when it beat bids from Munich (Germany) and Annecy (France).

PyeongChang previously bid to host both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, but lost to Vancouver and Sochi.

The 17-day Games will be the second Olympics held in South Korea since the 1988 Summer Olympics in its capital, Seoul.

The torch relay started on October 24, 2017 in Olympia, Greece.

On November 1, the relay entered South Korea. The 2,018 kilometer relay will last 101 days and will involve 7,500 torch bearers.

The opening ceremony of the Games will take place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will feature 102 events in 15 sports, Alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skating, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating.

The competitions will take place at two main venues, PyeongChang Mountain cluster and Gangneung coastal cluster.

The official mascots for the Games are Soohorang, a white tiger, and Bandabi, an Asiatic black bear.

Four new disciplines were introduced to the Olympic program in PyeongChang, including big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing.

Some 3,000 athletes presenting 92 national Olympic committees will take part in the Games.

Six nations are set to make their Winter Olympics debut: Ecuador, Eritrea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore and Kosovo (partially recognized state).

Russian athletes will compete under the designation ‘Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)’ following the doping controversy and suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee’s membership.

According to organizers, the cost of preparations for the 2018 Olympics, including the construction of all facilities, totals $12.5 bln.