Winter Games off and curling

Tetsu Joko/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Olympic volunteers walk outside the main press center in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday, with one holding a disposable heat pack to her face.

The Yomiuri Shimbun PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Competition began amid bitter cold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Thursday, with mixed doubles curling kicking off the day before the opening ceremony.

Steps to keep warm will be an important concern for attendees at the ceremony, which will be held outdoors on Friday night, as temperatures have dropped below minus 20 C.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the temperature in Daegwallyeong, where the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium is located, dropped to minus 23.4 C on Wednesday, and was minus 17.8 C on Thursday morning. Friday is expected to be warmer, but those who attend the ceremony will likely be exposed to strong wind.

The Pyeongchang Organizing Committee has decided to place large heaters in the aisles of the stadium during the opening ceremony, and to distribute free windbreakers, blankets, knit caps and other items to spectators.

The committee also will prepare viewing rooms for foreign VIPs.

“It’s a winter Olympics, so it’s no wonder the weather is cold. We’ll be fine with these measures to protect against the cold,” said Pyeongchang Organizing Committee head Lee Hee Beom.Speech

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