Organizers Are Worried It's Going To Be "Too Cold" For The Winter Olympics

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Organizers Are Worried It's Going To Be "Too Cold" For The Winter Olympics


It sounds like a bad joke, but freezing cold temperatures have the organizers of next year's Winter Olympics feeling the heat.

With less than 60 days to go before the opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang, South Korea, officials are scrambling to prepare the Olympic venues for the coldest temperatures the games have seen in almost 30 years. Forecasts are already predicting temperatures as low as 12 F during the opening ceremonies.

A ski jumping track built for next year's games.Daily Mail

You might be thinking "that's not so bad," but remember that cutbacks and delays meant the event's $58 million stadium was built without a roof.

While the average temperature in Pyeonchang during February is about 21 degrees, windchill in the stadium could make the weather feel closer to 6 F. And of course, attendees are expected to spend more than four hours in their seats, watching the athletes' parade and the event's opening ceremony.

The stadium for the opening ceremony was built without a roof to save time and money.VOA News

While all this might still seem like an overreaction, six people were diagnosed with hypothermia while attending a pop concert at the Olympic stadium last month, so officials are taking the weather very seriously.

But while Olympic organizers are preparing for the cold snap, that's not the only problem next year's games are facing.

The organized response to the bad weather is already underway, but it may not be enough.

Pyeongchang's Olympic mascot, Soohorang the white tiger, greets fans.Zimbio

The Olympic Committee announced they plan to hand out hot packs, distribute blankets, and get crowds on their feet during the lengthy ceremony  to help them stay warm. New wind screens are also being put in place around the stadium.

But the plan has already rubbed some spectators the wrong way, as it includes 160 extra thick blankets which will only be distributed to "VIP" guests.

A massive snow sculpture at an Olympic venue.NBC

This isn't the first time the Winter Olympics have been forced to plan around bad weather. At the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway, a flock of doves were swapped for dove-shaped balloons at the last minute.

Organizers worried the birds would suffer if they were released into the freezing cold.

But after the last two Winter Olympics were held in unusually warm weather, the event's planners have been caught off guard.

As if there wasn't enough for them to worry about, the threat from South Korea's neighbor to the north has some athletes and politicians worried. America's Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, suggested it was still an "open question" whether American athletes would compete in the games.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has some officials feeling tense before next year's winter Olympics.Sky News

For the record, America's Olympic committee says they're not concerned about North Korea's threats, and organizers say ticket sales are on track to match the 2014 Sochi Olympics' attendance.

Is there such thing as "too cold" for the Winter Olympics? Share this story and tell us what you think!

[H/T: Global News]

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