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Pyeongchang among coldest cities to host Winter Olympics: study

FILE PHOTO: A woman takes a picture of her friend in a cut out of a snow wall near the Olympic stadium of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

(Reuters) - South Korea’s Winter Olympics is likely to be the coldest since Norway hosted the 1994 Games, with Pyeongchang’s daily mean low temperature for February the same as Lillehammer’s at minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 Fahrenheit), according to an unofficial study.

Plunging to minus 20 degrees Celsius at night and rarely breaking above freezing in the day, temperatures at Pyeongchang have presented athletes with a different set of conditions from the sunshine and slushy snow of Sochi in 2014.

However, Pyeongchang is not necessarily the city with the coldest February temperature to host the Olympics, according to data compiled by

Going by the daily mean low temperatures for February, Lake Placid (1980) tops the list at minus 13 degrees Celsius.

If the absolute low temperature is considered, Calgary would stand out as the coldest Olympic host city, with a record low of -45 degrees Celsius ahead of Salt Lake City (-34 degrees Celsius) and St Moritz (-32 degrees Celsius).

Organizers in Pyeongchang are preparing to deal with the cold snap at Friday’s opening ceremony and also battling the spread of a virus among staff.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg