Ice-cold start to Winter Olympics

It was all fun and games at the Pyeongchang Winter Festival as this pair, bundled up against the cold, posed in a cut-out of ice blocks. The festival in the South Korean city is being held as a lead-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Due to its high altitude, Pyeongchang's weather is especially severe, and this year's Games may set a record for being the coldest since the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

About 35,000 spectators are expected to fill the Olympic stadium for the Games' opening ceremony tomorrow, and the wind chill is expected to be about minus 13 deg C.

The stadium does not have a roof as part of time-saving measures. It also does not have central heating because it is too expensive, Reuters reported, citing an internal document from the Olympic organising committee.

To help keep spectators warm, the Games' organisers will hand out heating pads, a blanket and a raincoat to each attendee. Officials also plan to put up polycarbonate walls along the highest points of the stadium to block the wind, and place portable gas heaters between rows.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2018, with the headline 'Ice-cold start to Winter Olympics'. Print Edition | Subscribe