Winter Olympics 2018: When is it, where is it, which sports are involved and who are Britain's medal hopes?

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
Elise Christie will fly the flag for Britain at Pyeongchang 2018
Elise Christie will fly the flag for Britain at Pyeongchang 2018

What is this?

This is the 2018 Winter Olympics - the 23rd edition of the most prestigious competition for winter sports.

When is it taking place?

The action begins on February 8 with curling and ski jumping action, and the official opening ceremony takes place the following day. The closing ceremony takes place on February 25.

Where is it being held?

These Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The region beat Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, to be named as hosts back in 2011.

Pyeongchang is located in the north-east of the country, with some venues around 60 miles from the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.

The event will be split into two main clusters:

  • The Mountain cluster - ski jumping, Nordic combined, snowboarding (big air), biathlon, cross-country skiing, luge, bobsleigh, skeleton, alpine skiing (slalom and giant slalom), opening and closing ceremonies.

  • The Coastal cluster - ice hockey (men), curling, speed skating, short track speed skating.

Other stand-alone venues will host freestyle skiing, snowboard, alpine skiing (downhill, super-G and combined), ice hockey (women).

Which sports will be contested?

(Number of medal events in parentheses)

Alpine skiing (11), biathlon (11), bobsleigh (3), cross-country skiing (12), curling (3), figure skating (5), freestyle skiing (10), ice hockey (2), luge (4), Nordic combined (3), short track speed skating (8), skeleton (2), ski jumping (4), snowboarding (10), speed skating (14).

Four new disciplines in existing sports will be introduced in Pyeongchang: big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing.

<span>Mass start speed skating has been introduced to the 2018 programme</span> <span>Credit: USA TODAY Sports </span>
Mass start speed skating has been introduced to the 2018 programme Credit: USA TODAY Sports

 

What is the time difference?

Pyeongchang is nine hours ahead of GMT, which means that much of the action will take place during the night in Britain.

  • 10am in Pyeongchang is 1am in Britain.

  • 3pm in Pyeongchang is 6am in Britain.

  • 8pm in Pyeongchang is 11am in Britain.

Will it be shown on TV in Britain?

Yes it will - on both BBC and Eurosport.

Discovery, which owns Eurosport, won the rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe from 2018 and the UK from 2022.

However, in 2015 a deal was struck that ensured the BBC was given the free-to-air rights to the 2022 and 2024 Olympics, with Eurosport granted the pay-TV rights in the UK to the 2018 and 2020 editions.

Who are Britain's best medal hopes?

Team GB matched their best ever medal haul at the Sochi 2014 Games with a total of four medals (one gold, one silver and two bronze).

<span>Elise Christie is Britain's greatest medal hopes</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Elise Christie is Britain's greatest medal hopes Credit: Getty Images

There is a strong chance that number will be bettered in Pyeongchang.

Short track speedskater Elise Christie won three gold medals and one bronze at the 2017 World Championships and could become the first British athlete to win multiple medals at one Winter Games.

Lizzy Yarnold won skeleton gold in Sochi and is aiming to become the first British athlete to defend a Winter Olympic title.

Freestyle skiers James Woods and Isabel Atkin stand a decent chance of winning Britain's first ever medals on skis, while slalom skier Dave Ryding and Nordic skier Andrew Musgrave could potentially trouble the podium.

Snowboarders Katie Ormerod and Billy Morgan have their sights on medals, and the GB women's curling team - led by Eve Muirhead - won world bronze in 2017.

What is the Russia situation?

The official line from the International Olympic Committee is that Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics. But the reality is not so simple.

Russian athletes who fulfil certain criteria will be allowed to compete under the Olympic Flag as an "Olympic Athlete from Russia).

Russian government officials are banned from attending, and neither the country's flag nor anthem is allowed.

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