It’s been four years since Jenny Jones won Team GB’s first ever medal on the snow. With skiers and boarders making up nearly half of the 59 Team GB athletes heading for the 23rd Winter Games in South Korea, they’re hoping to add to that tally.
Here’s a low down on the where, when and who of the PyeongChang Olympics.
Firstly, some quick facts about the Winter Olympics…
• The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France in 1924. It was originally called ‘International Winter Sports Week’ but was later renamed to Winter Olympics
• Athletes will compete in three main sporting categories; ice sports, alpine (skiing and snowboarding) and Nordic events, with 15 disciplines across all sports
• The most successful winter Olympian of all time is the 'King of biathlon', Ole Einar Bjoerndalen with 13 medals (8 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze across 6 winter games). He'll be at PyeongChang to try and add to his incredible record
• New for 2018 is big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass start speed skating (sounds messy) and mixed doubles curling
It’s not exactly a major player on the world winter sports stage, so here’s a bit more info on PyeongChang…
• Located in the north of South Korea, PyeongChang is only 50 miles from the North Korean border
• The region has four ski resorts with a total of 32 lifts, 53km of runs and the top lift height is 1438m
• Ordinarily, 43,000 people live in PyeongChang, but for the Olympic period, one million athletes and spectators will visit the small city
• Local delicacies include dried pollack (fish) in stews and rice steamed with mountain herbs
• The 2018 mascot is a white tiger named Soohorang. The tiger is closely associated with Korean mythology and culture and is a familiar figure in folk tales as a symbol of trust, strength and protection
When to watch
South Korea is nine hours ahead of the UK (and half an hour ahead of North Korea!). Coverage will be shown on the BBC, mostly in the middle of the night for us. Good job for the BBC iPlayer!
• The opening ceremony starts on Friday 9 February at 11am GMT
• The closing ceremony is on from 25 February from 11am GMT
• The blue ribbon downhill event for men is on Sunday 11 February from 2am GMT and women’s is on Wednesday 21 February at 2am GMT
Who to watch out for
Only 12 British people have won Britain’s 26 Winter Olympic medals since the start of the games in 1924. Team GB’s target for both the Olympics and Paralympics is between 10 and 22 medals, a massive leap from the UK’s best-ever haul of four medals achieved in both 1924 and 2014.
59 athletes is the most Team GB has ever sent to a winter Olympics which is testament to the great investment made in UK sports since London 2012, but who should we be watching out for on the slopes of PyeongChang?
Katie Ormerod, Snowboarder
Katie was one of Team GB's gold medal hopes, but after breaking her heel in practice, she sadly won't be competing in PyeongChang, but she'll be back stronger than ever at the 2022 Olympics.
Izzy Atkin, Slopestyle skier
The title of first British female skier to win a World Cup slopestyle event, plus a bronze in the 2017 World championships and a world cup silver means Izzy’s confidence is running high.
Katie Summerhayes, Freestyle Skier
This is Katie’s second Olympics after finishing seventh in Sochi 2014. She then became the first British female skier to win a Freestyle World Championship medal in 2015 and then won a silver in a world cup event in 2017. You’ll also see her little sister in the Olympic half pipe events too.
Jamie Nicholls, Snowboarder
Jamie has been considered one of Britain’s best boarders for a while, and it’s easy to see why. He finished sixth at Sochi 2014 and in 2016 became the first British snowboarder to win a world cup event. He added to his gold with a bronze and silver in 2017.
See Jamie battle it out with fellow Olympian, Katie Summerhayes to see who’s best, skiers or boarders.
Find out more here