Heavy Snowfall Causes Disruptions at Winter Youth Olympics in Eastern South Korea

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – The ongoing Winter Youth Olympics in eastern South Korea faced significant disruptions for the second consecutive day due to heavy snowfall, affecting both the competition and associated cultural events. The games, which are being held in Gangwon Province, have seen alterations in their schedule as a result of the inclement weather.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the region has been experiencing substantial snowfall. This led to a change in the starting time for the ski jumping event on Saturday in Pyeongchang, located approximately 130 kilometers east of Seoul. The men's Super G race in alpine skiing, scheduled to be held in Jeongseon, a county southeast of Pyeongchang, saw its start time moved from noon to 1:55 p.m. and then again to 3:25 p.m. on Sunday.

In Gangneung, about 30 kilometers east of Pyeongchang, the weather impacted several athletes' events. Notably, Choi Min-jeong, a two-time Olympic short track speed skating champion, had her one-point lesson session canceled on Saturday amid a mix of snow and rain. Similarly, Lee June-seo, the men's relay silver medalist in 2022, was unable to conduct his clinic session on Sunday due to snowy and windy conditions. All outdoor activities, performances, and skating sessions in Gangneung were canceled as well.

The KMA lifted a heavy snow warning for Gangwon on Sunday. However, the province was expected to receive more snow into Sunday afternoon, with some areas experiencing rain showers. The eastern part of Gangwon was estimated to receive up to an additional 7 centimeters of snow.

As of 7 a.m. Sunday, Wangsan-myeon in Gangneung had recorded 44 centimeters of snow since Thursday, while downtown Gangneung received just over 10 centimeters, as reported by the KMA. Several roads across Pyeongchang and Jeongseon had been blocked and suffered severe congestion due to the heavy snow on Saturday, but conditions were reported to have eased since.

The current Winter Youth Olympics, the first of its kind to be held in Asia, is scheduled to conclude on February 1.

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