PyeongChang, Feb 3 (IANS) International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams on Saturday said that people who plan to visit PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony should “wrap up” for cold weather.
During a press briefing on an IOC Executive Board meeting, Adams said he is aware of the bitter cold in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, reports Yonhap news agency.
“I should be wearing very warm clothes on myself and advise everyone to do the same,” he said. “We’re advising everyone to take sensible precautions.”
The opening and closing ceremonies for the February 9-25 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be held at the Olympic Stadium, an open-air, pentagonal arena that can accommodate some 35,000 people.
For the opening ceremony next Friday, officials here expect the temperature to drop as low as minus seven degrees Celsius, while the wind chill may reach minus 14 degrees Celsius.
“I think people should be sensible, particularly for the opening ceremony, where some people would be spending a few hours out in the cold,” he said. “So they need to wrap up and prepare properly.”
To help visitors stay warm during the ceremonies, the local organizers said they will install windscreens around the stadium to block powerful winds.
They will also place 40 portable gas heaters between aisles and rows of the seats and have 18 “heating rest areas” with heaters.
The organizers said they will provide six heating items to visitors at the ceremonies: a rain coat, a small blanket, a winter cap, heating packs for hands and feet and a heating pad that visitors can sit on.
Meanwhile, with regard to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to lift bans on 28 Russian athletes previously believed to be linked to the state-sponsored doping scandal at Sochi 2014, Adams said 15 of them — 13 active athletes and two coaches — will be reviewed by the invitation review panel.
Should the athletes be allowed to participate in the PyeongChang Games, they will do so as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”
“We will take an individual view of each of these athletes,” he said. “In terms of time process, I don’t know.”