With the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics less than one month away, the eyes of the world will soon turn to the competition, while stadium buffs look forward to checking out the venues.
Construction work on all competition and non-competition venues came to a close in October, and many stadium features sparked excitement among fans and athletes alike.
Robots will be on hand to help athletes at venues during the Games, which are due to take place from February 9-25.
Korea’s Ministry of Trade said that a total of 85 robots would be deployed at venues to provide athletes with information on event schedules, transport links and tourist attractions during the Games. Eleven types of robots will be used in total.
Another interesting aspect will be the construction of a McDonald’s store in the shape of one of the fast-food restaurant chain’s value meals. The 479-square-metre restaurant will be situated in the Gangneung Olympic Park, which will host ice events during the Games.
The restaurant will feature buildings that resemble a hamburger, French fries and drinks.
The Korean central government has spent a total of $12.9bn (£9.36bn/€10.5bn), nearly double the amount the country projected when it won the bid in 2011.
Korea took on half of the $62.6m in costs for building a new stadium for the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies. More than $1.5bn has been poured into the Alpensia Ski Resort, which will serve as a hub for the Games. The Alpensia Ski Resort will serve as the main venue for outdoor sports, including ski jumping, biathlon, cross-country skiing, and luge.
One of the venues within the resort is the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre (below), which was completed in 2008 and features two slopes, which are 210 feet long and 320 feet long.
Alpensia’s Cross-Country Centre (above) will host biathlon and cross-country skiing tournaments, while the recently completed Alpensia Sliding Centre (pictured below), which cost approximately $114.5m, has a network of chutes for bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge events.
Slalom athletes will compete at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre (first picture below), with its summit 4,783 feet above sea level and 2,530 feet above ground level, while freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions will happen at the Bokwang Snow Park in the township of Bongpyeong-myeon.
One of the newest and largest venues is the Hockey Centre (below first pictured), completed in 2017. The Gangneung Curling Centre was renovated in 2015 and 2016 for this year’s Games. Meanwhile, the Gangneung Ice Arena (below second pictured), which has a rounder facade, will host short-track speed skating and figure skating events.
Images: Pyeongchang 2018