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Winter Olympics

Pyeongchang 2018: Everything you need to know

Pyeongchang will stage the 23rd Winter Olympics and there is no shortage of stories to look out for in the South Korean city.

Pyeongchang 2018: Everything you need to know
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There will be thrills and spills aplenty, new events and more medals than ever up for grabs when the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics get under way this week.

Athletes from all over the world have arrived in South Korea for the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics.

The stage is set for superstars such as Lindsey Vonn, Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin to put on a show and the lesser likes to make a name for themselves.

Here is an outline of what you need to know ahead of the eagerly awaited quadrennial event.

When do the Winter Olympics start and finish?

The opening ceremony will be staged at the 35,000-seater Olympic Stadium at 8pm local time on Friday.

Some athletes will have already been in action by the time the flame is lit.

The Games will be officially closed on Sunday February 25 in the same venue following 102 events across 15 sports.

Where is Pyeongchang and what will the temperature be?

The city chosen to stage the games is in north-eastern South Korea, around 80 miles [125 kilometres] east of capital city Seoul and 50 miles from the North Korean border.

Pyeongchang has a population of around 43,000, who may well be more accustomed to the cold than many arriving for the Games.

Temperatures can drop to as low as -20 degrees Celsius, hence those attending the opening ceremony will be given a poncho, blanket and heat packs for their hands and feet!

What's new?

Four new events have been added to the schedule, with no less than 102 gold medals there for the taking. 

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Snowboard big air, speed skating mass start, curling mixed doubles and the Alpine team event will be contested for the first time.

Six nations that have never been represented at the Winter Games will have athletes in action; hailing from Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.

North and South Korea will march under a unified banner and will also field a joint women's ice hockey team in a sign of thawing relations between the two countries, who are still technically at war.

Look out for...

Hirscher will take some stopping when he goes in search of a first Olympic gold medal and all eyes will be on fellow alpine skiing sensation Shiffrin when she graces the slopes.

Lindsey Vonn missed the 2014 Games in Sochi due to injury, but the legendary American has downhill and/or super-G glory in her sights.

There will also be no shortage of interest when the first Jamaican women's bobsleigh team compete 30 years after the men's team from the Caribbean island inspired the Cool Runnings movie.

Keep an eye out for speed skater Cheyenne Goh, the Canada-born 18-year-old who will make history by flying the flag for Singapore and so many more unheralded athletes from across the globe.

Will Russia be represented?

Russia was banned from the Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping on home snow in Sochi four years ago.

The International Olympic Committee invited 169 athletes to compete as neutral athletes and there may yet be more permitted to compete.