Olympics not only about the events
Attending the actual sporting events isn’t the only excitement in PyeongChang. Anyone holding a ticket to an event scheduled for that day can get into the Olympics plazas.
A small skating rink outside lets visitors rent skates and channel the Olympic athletes on a (much) smaller scale. Large screens stream the events live, and there are stages with frequent performances.
Small buildings house souvenirs, exhibits of Korean clay pots, traditional Korean crafts, a virtual reality center to try out Olympic sports, a pin trading center and more.
I had ordered several of the Steamboat Today newspaper’s Olympic pins after reading an article about the pin trading in the newspaper’s Olympic preview section. Unfortunately, they never arrived and I later got a message that they were sold out. My other Steamboat pins had no Olympics significance so weren’t valid for trading currency.
The mascots of the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics are proving to be extremely popular with spectators. The Superstore sells items including hats, gloves, scarves, T-shirts, magnets, shoes and bags. But it also sells more unique merchandise, such as an LED light-up Soohorang and face masks (for sickness, not for snow sports). Even when in other cities, a couple of hours from PyeongChang, many people are wearing Olympics memorabilia.
About the author:
Allison Miriani has lived in Steamboat Springs since 2003 and enjoys snowboarding and snowshoeing. She and her husband lived and worked in Gangwan, South Korea, from 2013 to 2014. When they heard the 2018 Winter Olympics would be held in Pyeongchang, they knew they had to attend.
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