Team Canada Meagan Duhamel Eric Radford PyeongChang 2018

Frequently Asked Questions about the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games

Have you got questions about PyeongChang 2018? We’ve got answers!

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this year’s Olympic Winter Games:

What time is it in PyeongChang?

Depending on where you are in Canada, the Korean time zone is between 12 ½ and 17 hours ahead. The disparity not only means keeping weird hours to watch live events, it means having to always remember what Olympic day it is.

How to keep it straight: give your time zone a number—Pacific is 5, Mountain 4, Central 3, Eastern 2, Atlantic 1 and Newfoundland 0.5. To convert to Korean time, add that number to your current time and flip the a.m./p.m. To convert from Korean time, subtract the number and flip the a.m./p.m.

Just remember to also change the day of the week if you’re flipping past midnight—otherwise you’ll find yourself caught in a Groundhog Day style time loop.

How cold is it in PyeongChang?

Sweden’s Anna Magnusson aims her rifle amidst a gust of snow and wind during a women’s official training session, at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

As your irritating coworkers always say: “it’s not the cold, it’s the wind chill!”

PyeongChang’s average daily February temperature of minus-5.5 Celsius probably isn’t too scary to most winter-worn Canadians. But windy conditions during these Games haven’t just caused delays on the hills, they’ve added that extra chilly bite for athletes and spectators alike.

What’s new at these Games?

Team Canada PyeongChang 2018 Kaitlyn Lawes John Morris

Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris of Canada compete during the Curling Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Game against Switzerland at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Curling Centre on February 13, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.(Photo by Vincent Ethier/COC)

There are four new events on the Olympic program at PyeongChang 2018, and Canada has already earned gold in one of them: mixed doubles curling.

The other three—mass start speed skating, big air snowboard and mixed team alpine skiing—will be contested during the second full week of competition.

Where do I get what the Team Canada athletes are wearing?

Team Canada Figure Skating PyeongChang 2018 team medal ceremony

Team Canada figure skaters Patrick Chan, Gabrielle Daleman, Kaetlyn Osmond, Meagan Duhamel, Eric Radford, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir with their gold medals from the team event Photo: COC/Jason Ransom

The snazzy jackets, toques, mittens and other official gear adorning our athletes in PyeongChang can be purchased at Hudson’s Bay, or you could score some gear by joining our Bell Olympic Club for access to exclusive contests.

As for the Olympic medals our athletes are wearing? Sorry, you’ll need to earn your own. Better go hit the gym.

Who is this OAR team I keep seeing?

Olympic Athletes of Russia team pose for a selfie on the podium after their second place finish in the figure skating team event in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

In December 2017, the International Olympic Committee banned the Russian Olympic Committee from these Games, in response to an investigation into widespread doping. But the IOC did allow certain athletes from the country to participate in these Games, although they are competing under the Olympic flag and as part of the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team.

How many Korean teams are there?

North Korea’s Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea’s Won Yun-jong arrive during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

There are some athletes representing South Korea and some representing North Korea, so the answer is obviously two, right?

But remember that those athletes entered the Opening Ceremony as a unified team, under the flag of the Korean peninsula. Plus, in women’s hockey, there actually is a unified team, encompassing players from both North and South.

So, we may not have an answer here. It depends on how you look at it.

Why do the medal-winning athletes get stuffed tigers?

Team Canada PyeongChang 2018 Max Parrot Mark McMorris podium

Max Parrot of Canada wins Silver, Redmond Gerard of the USA wins Gold and Mark McMorris of Canada wins Bronze in the Men’s Slopestyle Final at Phoenix Snow Park during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea on February 11, 2018. (Photo by Jason Ransom/COC)

The cute little plush toy you’ve seen in the hands of this year’s medal winners is Soohorang, the mascot of PyeongChang 2018. The tiger is a huge part of Korean mythology; in particular, the white tiger is seen as a symbol of protection.

But why are athletes clutching this guardian cat rather than their medals? Simple: at the Winter Games, medals are awarded either later that night or the next night at the Olympic Plaza (depending on the competition schedule) rather than immediately following an event. At past Games, they’ve been given a bouquet of flowers to hold onto in the meantime. This time around, it’s Soohorang.

Where’s Sidney Crosby?

Rene Bourque Team Canada Team Switzerland Men's Hockey PyeongChang 2018

Rene Bourque, left, of Canada, scores a goal on Switzerland goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni during the second period of a preliminary round men’s hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

He’s not there. Sorry. Neither are any other current NHL players, thanks to the league’s decision not to participate in these Games. But fear not, there’s NHL experience on the Canadian men’s hockey team, including the likes of Chris Kelly, Derek Roy, Rene Bourque and Ben Scrivens.

On the women’s side, there’s plenty of Olympic pedigree, including captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Meghan Agosta, Shannon Szabados and Meaghan Mikkelson. Check out the rosters for Canada’s hockey teams, both of whom are hoping to head home with gold.