6,901 Miles from Toms River
Even though most of us know little or nothing about curling, biathlon, Nordic combined, skeleton and the 11 other sports that make up the Winter Olympics we’ll likely have some interest in what takes place over the next two weeks in PyeongChang, South Korea.
6,901 miles from Toms River and 14 hours ahead of us in time, this city of just over 43,000 is the smallest to host the Olympic games since 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway). Some other facts and figures:
- Flight time from New York to Seoul, South Korea is 14 hours and 16 minutes and it would take another 2 ½ hours by car or 69 minutes by rail to get to PyeongChang.
- There were 42,000 hotel rooms made available within an hour of the venues being used.
- The opening ceremonies took place in a 35,000 seat stadium that will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies and will then be torn down.
- The estimated cost of the games is $13 billion which is a lot but four times less than what Russia spent on the 2014 games in Sochi.
- The average February temperature is 34 degrees during the day and 17 degree at night. However temps and winds might make for some bitterly cold conditions during some of the events.
- The U.S. team is made up of 242 athletes, a record for any country in the Winter Olympics. Some of the bigger names include Lindsay Vonn, Shaun White, Mikaela Shiffrin, Chloe Kim and Ted Ligety. The NHL is not sending players to the games this year and probably the best-known hockey player on Team USA is 39 year old Brian Gionta, who won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2002 and 2003 and played in the 2006 Olympics. The men are a longshot to win a medal while the women’s ice hockey team is one of the favorites.
- The US delegation in South Korea will include a security team of 200.
- A total of about 2,900 athletes from 92 countries will compete in the games and almost 50% are females.
- There will be 222 medals awarded.
- Norway has won the most medals (332) since the first Winter Olympics began in 1924. The USA is second (284).