What to know about Winter Olympics 2018 host city Pyeongchang

Pyeongchang, South Korea, is hosting the XXIII Olympic Winter Games.

ByABC News
February 9, 2018, 8:42 AM

— -- A rugged, mountainous area of South Korea is the world stage for the 23rd Olympic Winter Games.

Pyeongchang is a county in Gangwon province, nestled in the Taebaek Mountains. It's located some 80 miles east of the nation's capital, Seoul, and about 60 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone dividing North Korea and South Korea.

Cross-country skiers in action behind a band with the text "Pyeongchang 2018" in the Alpensia Cross-country Skiing Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2018.
Hendrik Schmidt/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Pyeongchang won the right to host the Games after two previously unsuccessful attempts, this time beating top bids from Annecy, France, and Munich, Germany.

It's the second time the Olympics will be held in South Korea; Seoul was the host city for the Summer Olympics in 1988.

Volunteers walk past the Olympics Rings at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, in Jeongseon, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2018.
Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

Pyeongchang is roughly the size of Houston, Texas, but has a population of about 43,703. It's known as "happy 700" because it's situated 700 meters above sea level, according to the games' official website.

PHOTO: Snowboarders training in the slopestyle track of the Olympic Snowboard Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Jan. 7, 2018.
Snowboarders training in the slopestyle track of the Olympic Snowboard Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Jan. 7, 2018. The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics take place between Feb. 9 and Feb. 25, 2018.
Angelika Warmuth/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Opening and closing ceremonies will occur at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, a temporary venue that can seat 35,000 spectators. All competition venues are located within 30 minutes driving distance from the stadium.

Most snow sports will take place in Pyeongchang, while all ice sports will be held in the coastal city of Gangneung and alpine speed events will be in the county Jeongseon, according to the Games' official website.

Soohorang and Bandabi, the mascots of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, in front of the National Assembly Building of South Korea, Dec. 30, 2017, in Seoul, South Korea.

The Pyeongchang Olympic village is housing up to 3,894 athletes and team officials during the 2018 Winter Games, while a second village in Gangneung is accommodating more than 2,900 personnel.

The royal azalea is the official flower of Pyeongchang, and the Mandarin duck is the official bird, according to the Games' official website.

Woljeongsa Temple in Pyeongchang, South Korea
STOCK/Getty Images

Among the major tourist attractions Pyeongchang is known for is the Woljeongsa Temple, located in a dense forest in the eastern valley of Odaesan Mountain. The stunning Buddhist temple, which was founded in the year 643, is surrounded by coniferous forests with the Geumgang-yeon River flowing past.

Closing ceremonies will take place Feb. 25.

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