PyeongChang is putting the 'winter' back into Winter Olympics

14 February 2018 7:12 AM

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After two balmy Winter Olympics - where athletes stripped clothes off to cool down and snow had to be trucked in - PyeongChang is bringing the winter back.

It's been so biting cold that athletes' skis are warping and makeup is freezing to the faces of BBC anchors (to be fair, it's probably freezing to the faces of other people, as well). Officials have even gone as far as to postpone the women's giant slalom, primarily due to high winds.

In contests not postponed, athletes are facing new and interesting challenges. Biathlon bullets have been blown off-target. Snowboarders, attempting to do some pretty epic tricks, have stalled by a brutal head wind before they could even catch air.

It was just eight years ago that these same Winter Games were mild and snow starved in Vancouver, due to the low elevation and the warming effect of the Pacific Ocean. Four years later, Sochi suffered the same fate from a similar physical geography; low elevation and proximity to the Black Sea.

Although PyeongChang is also close to a warm body of water - the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea - it is downwind from the frigged Asian interior, and the cold Siberian air has been funneling in on howling winds.


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