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Nigerian bobsled, skeleton team faces ‘coldest’ weather as Winter Olympics begins


Nigeria’s women’s bobsleigh and skeleton team members Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga and Simidele Adeagbo attend a welcoming ceremony for the team in the Olympic Village in Pyeongchang ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE

With a predicted windchill temperature of -25C in the city of Pyeongchang, South Korea, athletes and officials from the various participating countries may be in for a serious cold weather condition, as the 2018 Winter Olympics begins today.

According to the BBC, warped skis, fake snow and predicted windchill temperatures of -25C is recorded in Pyeongchang, with a big question mark on whether the city is going to be too cold for even a Winter Olympics?

As the name of the event suggests, it is supposed to be cold – but the 2018 edition, which starts today looks set to break all records.

Four Nigerians, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga and Simidele Adeagbo will carry the nation’s flag for the first time at the Winter Olympics. The four girls will be competing in Bobsled and Skeleton, which is alien to most Nigerians. Also on the trip are the President of the Nigerian Bobsled Federation, Chief Solomon Ogba, Chef de maison, Gbenga Elegbeleye and some board members, including Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke of Supersports.

As at yesterday, concerned athletes were said to be shivering on social media due to the cold weather.

According to the Korean Meteorological Administration, the opening ceremony, starting at 20:00 local time, will record between -2C and -5C.

The agency says this is “on par” with average February temperatures in previous years of around 0C with temperatures at night getting down to around -10C. To date, the 1994 edition in Lillehammer, Norway, was the coldest Games on record with a low of -11C.

At nearly half a mile above sea level, Pyeongchang is regarded as one of the coldest regions of South Korea, and is Earth’s coldest location for its latitude.

At the opening ceremony rehearsal on Saturday, biting winds dropped the temperature to -23C. The agency said spectators should “brace themselves” and Olympics officials have warned everyone attending to “wrap up and prepare properly”.

Because of the freezing temperatures, Pyeongchang is susceptible to variable levels of snowfall. Major snowstorms are a rarity in the area, and in February 2017 it snowed on just seven days with an average snowfall of 6.3cm.

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