The Olympic Villages, which will accommodate 2,900 athletes during the upcoming Winter Games, officially opened Thursday, Yonhap News Agency reports.
The athletes’ living quarters for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics – split between one Olympic Village in PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul, and one in Gangneung, 230 kilometers east of the capital – had their opening ceremonies, with hundreds of guests in attendance. The construction of the Villages was completed in December, but officials have been preparing other facilities since then.
PyeongChang 2018 organizing committee chief Lee Hee-beom, Korean Sport and Olympic Committee President Lee Kee-heung and Gangwon Governor Choi Moon-soon attended the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Village. Gangneung Mayor Choi Myung-hee was among the guests at the opening ceremony for the Gangneung Village.
The national flags of the Olympic participating countries, including North Korea, were all raised at the Villages. The organizers had already hoisted all the flags except North Korea’s on Wednesday. South Korea has a draconian national security law aimed at keeping anti-state and pro-communist acts at bay. Under the law, hoisting the North Korean flag is illegal here, but it is being allowed at the Olympic venues for official events approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).