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Pyeongchang all set for Winter Olympics

Preparations are on track for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February and March next year, delegates at the Host City conference in Glasgow heard this week.

Around 50,000 athletes from 95 nations will compete in the Winter Olympics in February, while 25,000 athletes will take part in the Winter Paralympic Games in March.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will feature 102 events in 15 sports. Four new disciplines in existing sports will be introduced, including big air snowboarding (which will replace the parallel slalom), mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing.

The Games will take place in six newly built venues as well as six renovated facilities, Jooho Kim, executive vice president of games planning and operations told the conference.

Venues include the Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung Oval, Gangneung Ice Arena, the Kwandong Hockey Centre, Jeongseong Alpine Centre and the Olympic Sliding Centre.

The major venues were completed in December 2016 with a series of test events taking place in 2017.

The Athletes and Media Village and the International Broadcast Centre are the most recently completed venues, having been handed over in September.

The Athletes and Media Village will accommodate 13,445 athletes and media during the Games.

Kim said the Pyeongchang Games will be the first to offer 5G telecommunications services.

In the last month, the organising committee has focused heavily on building up enthusiasm for the Games with the launch of its official PyeongChang 2018 app, as well as a number of other events and initiatives to engage Korea and the world with these Games.

The Olympic Torch Relay also continues to connect the country to the passion of the Games, having passed through more than 20 cities since touching down in Korea.

The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 open on 9 February 2018.