After the excitement of Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold’s medals, my husband and I were extra excited to get to our first Olympics event – ladies slalom. After taking the train from Seoul, we transferred to a shuttle bus and could see the stadium beckoning to us. Unfortunately, as we pulled up, people came streaming out of the stadium. The event had been postponed because of high winds that made it unsafe for the athletes.

These Czech fans didn’t let the postponement get them down.

Although disappointed, spectators made the best of the situation, heading in to the merchandise store for hats, mittens and mascot stuffed animals. One man who had traveled from Hong Kong for two days simply for the Alpine event made a joke about his bad luck. “My sister took her family to ski for a week in the U.S. and had no snow. Now I go to the Olympics and have no event.”

A young girl from Korea.

 

The many workers and volunteers smiled, waved and chatted with visitors, helping to keep the atmosphere fun. When North Korea’s cheerleaders exited the stadium, people craned their necks and snapped photos.

After learning the Nordic combined event was delayed and being turned away from a bobsleigh training session, we decided to explore what the Olympics area had to offer outside of events. It turns out, there’s a lot.

A band played in Olympic Plaza, and fun photo opportunities were everywhere. Statues and pictures of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Soohorang and Bandabi, gave a fun welcome to guests from around the world. The culture center offered exhibits such as the Korean food exhibit, including free samples, and a food court offered stands of food from around the world.

There are plenty of welcomes and photo opportunities in Pyeongchang. Here, women in Korean traditional clothes welcome visitors in Jinbu train station.

About the author:

Allison Miriani

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.