© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, February 9. /TASS./ Winter Olympic games opening on Friday in South Korea’s Pyeongchang. During the 16 days competition will be played 102 sets of medals in 15 sports.

The XXIII Games in Pyeongchang will be held from 9 to 25 February, although the preliminary competition started on Thursday, and the first medals will be awarded on February 10. In Pyeongchang, for the first time in the history of the Olympic winter games participants will compete for more than 100 sets of awards. In the program of Games appeared such subjects as double mixed Curling, the big air in snowboarding, mass start speed skating mixed team tournament in Alpine skiing .

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Author: Stanislav VARIVODA
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At the Olympics there will be competitions in biathlon, bobsleigh, Alpine skiing, Curling, speed skating, Nordic combined, ski racing, jumping ski jumping, Luge, skeleton, snowboarding, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey and short track. Medalyami kind of Games – speed skating, where it will be played 14 sets of medals, while figure skating and hockey competitions will be held only among men and women.

Pyeongchang won the right to host the winter Olympics 2018 at the 123rd session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Durban, South Africa, ahead of the voting candidacies of Munich (Germany) and the French Annecy. The mascot of the Games was the white tiger, Sharan.

The mountain and coastal clusters

The organizers of the upcoming Games re-used the concept with two clusters – mountain and coastal, as four years ago during the Olympics in Sochi. Mountain resort Alpensia is located in the village Detaljen in Pyeongchang County, located here jumping, biathlon and ski centres, cross-Luge, bobsleigh and skeleton, and ski Yongpyong, where sportsmen will compete in the slalom and giant slalom.

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In the mountain cluster built and the Olympic stadium where Friday’s opening ceremony will be held 25 Feb – the closing ceremony of the Games. The arena was opened last year and holds about 35 thousand spectators. However, only the stadium and the bobsleigh track was built for the Olympics, the rest of the objects acted earlier.

Separately located “Pakwan Phoenix Park” for freestyle and snowboard and the ski center “Jeongseon-gun”, where there will be races in downhill and giant slalom, as well as in combination. In the mountain cluster are also the Olympic village and Olympic Plaza, which will host the awards ceremony.

The coastal cluster is located in the resort town of Gangneung, where the Games were built hockey Palace for 10 thousand spectators (there will be a men’s tournament), hockey centre, University Quandon for women’s teams, an ice skating arena and ice arena for short track and figure skating arena and Curling in Kannyn has been operating for over 20 years.

92 countries and Olympic athletes from Russia

In the Olympic games in Pyeongchang will bring together athletes of 92 countries for the first time in the Olympic winter games will bring together athletes from Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Ecuador and Eritrea. The Olympic Committee of Russia (OKR) the decision of the IOC Executive Board was disqualified, so that our athletes will perform at the Olympics in the team Olympic athletes from Russia. The Olympics will bring together athletes who have received a special invitation from the IOC, who without good reason left without the Olympics the whole group of athletes, many of whom were not previously suspected of doping.

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This list includes one of the strongest skiers in the world Sergey Ustyugov, biathlete Anton Shipulin and three-time Olympic champion Sochi, until 2011, played for the national team of South Korea, Victor An. However, it is not admitted to the Olympics, Russian athletes have filed lawsuits in the court of arbitration for Sport (CAS), the decision thereon shall be announced at 05:00 GMT on Friday.

At the moment, the team of Olympic athletes from Russia 168 athletes. The main hopes for gold medals in team and women’s tournaments, figure skating (here it is expected a duel between Evgenia Medvedeva, and Alina, Sagitova), in the men’s tournament in ice hockey and the Luge competition where the nominees Roman Reelow and semen Pavlichenko. In most Olympic sports, our athletes have the right to count on medals.

While OCD has a chance to be restored to its status on the last day of the Olympic games on February 25. In this case, the Russian athletes will be able to pass under its flag at the closing ceremony. On Friday at the opening of the Olympic games will involve about 80 Russians, and the Olympic flag will be incurred by the volunteer.

Hockey without the NHL and the joint Korean team

For the first time since 1998 at the Olympics will not have the players of the National hockey League (NHL), which this time did not stop the championship for the duration of the Games. In Pyeongchang will play players from European clubs and North American lower leagues, so the main favorite is the team of Olympic athletes from Russia, almost completely composed of players the strongest teams in the Continental hockey League’s SKA “the Metallurgist” and CSKA.

At the preliminary stage of the Russian hockey players will play in group b with the teams of Slovakia (14 February), Slovenia (16 February) and the USA (18 Feb). All 12 participants of the tournament come in the playoffs, and the winners of the three groups, as well as the best of the teams that took second places will play in the 1/4 finals, while the remaining eight teams will play extra butt to match.

In the hockey tournaments will be attended by the home team, while the women’s team will represent the United team of Korea. On the arrival of the North Korean athletes to South Korea, the parties agreed only at the beginning of January an agreement was reached not only on the participation of the United women’s hockey team, but a joint passage of athletes North Korea and South Korea under a United flag during the opening ceremony of the Games. Special flag with a blue image of the Korean Peninsula on a white background is used at sporting events since 1990.

In the individual competition of the Olympic games will bring together 10 athletes from North Korea – in Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating and short track. Athletes from North Korea took part in the winter Olympics since 1964, but missed the 2014 Games in Sochi.

March 9-18 in Pyeongchang will host the winter Paralympics, which Russian athletes will take part in a neutral status.

Winter Olympics 2022 will be held in Beijing.