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Problems Awaiting The 2018 Winter Games In Pyeongchang?

Now that the 2014 Winter Olympics have concluded in Sochi, attention has turned to 2018 host Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Problems Awaiting The 2018 Winter Games In Pyeongchang?
2018 PyeongChang Organizing Committee
SMS

It's no secret the 2014 Winter Olympics host, Sochi, Russia, got its share of media scrutiny.

‚ÄčInternational reports focused on laws against gay propaganda, unfinished hotels and poor snow conditions for some of the outdoor events. (Via CNNMirrorThe Independent

It all inspired the Twitter hashtag #SochiProblems, which was popular among athletes, spectators and journalists. (Via Twitter / @Sochi_Problemz

Still, the 2014 Winter Games have now come and gone without much incident — which means the focus turns to the next go-round in 2018. Those Winter Games will play out in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

A writer for The Wall Street Journal notes one of the biggest challenges currently facing Pyeongchang is the massive construction needed. 

 

"Like Sochi, Pyeongchang is a massive project that includes a new high-speed rail line and expressway, construction of six venues and a plethora of housing. ... Four years can pass quickly, especially when multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects are involved."

That concern is especially heightened after the hotel and facility shortcomings in Sochi. Poor construction and unfinished rooms made international headlines. (Via Euronews

But South Korea faces its own unique problems as well. One of those is North Korea — a nation that has a bitter history with its southern neighbor and one whose leader, Kim Jung-un, draws universal scorn. (Via Canada.com

But The New York Times reports Kim Jin-sun, head of South Korea's organizing committee for the 2018 games, has no concerns about the relationship between the two countries. He cites the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 2002 FIFA World Cup as evidence the nation can keep the games free of controversy. Both events went off without a hitch.

Another big question about the 2018 Olympics has some U.S. and Canada fans pretty concerned: Will players from the National Hockey League be allowed to compete in 2018?

Owners, players and other league officials are reportedly still in talks about whether NHL players will participate. Owners aren't exactly making money by having their most prized players go overseas for two weeks and risk injury. (Via SB Nation

However, on at least one positive note, these Winter Olympics should be much more "wintery" than Sochi. 

Slushy snow caused problems for athletes at the 2014 games, even factoring into some crashes. (Via Bloomberg

But a writer for Canada's CBC says that shouldn't be a problem in 2018: "The 23rd Winter Games will run from Feb. 9 to 23, 2018, a two-week period that sees average temperatures down in Pyeongchang running around 2 to 4 C in the daytime, down to -4 to -6 C at night." So, in Fahrenheit, between 35-40 in the daytime and 21-25 at night.  

Officials from Pyeongchang reportedly stayed in Sochi throughout this year's Olympics to study how the city hosted the games. They were officially handed the Olympic flag Sunday at the closing ceremonies.