The 2018 Winter Olympics kicks off Feb. 8 in PyeongChang, where 2,925 athletes from 92 countries and regions are set to gather, marking the largest Winter Games in history.
The 23rd edition of the international games will feature 15 different sports including four new events: big air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass start speed skiing and mixed doubles curling.
Athletes will compete in 102 gold medal events, four more than at the 2014 Sochi Games, which saw more than 2,800 athletes from 88 countries and regions.
The Japanese Olympic Committee will send 124 athletes — the country’s largest team ever sent outside the country — and, despite a ban on Russia’s team for state-sponsored doping, 169 athletes from the country are invited as neutral competitors.
Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore will all participate in the Winter Games for the first time.
In a surprising move, North and South Korea announced a joint cultural performance during the opening ceremony and a combined women’s hockey team. However, on Jan. 9, North Korea canceled the opening performance, accusing southern media of encouraging public “insulting” sentiment. The initial agreements raised hopes of improved ties between the two Koreas following years of tension, but the recent news is an unfortunate setback.
Located about 80 miles east of Seoul and 60 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, PyeongChang is a beautiful county in the Gangwon Province, home to the Taebaek Mountains, Odaesan National Park, renowned Buddhist temples and major ski resorts.
PyeongChang beat out top bids from Munich and Annecy to host this year’s Winter Games, marking the second Olympic games held in South Korea, following the 1988 Summer Olympics. The next Winter Games will move to Beijing in 2022; Beijing last hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008. The next Summer Games will be in Tokyo in 2020, followed by Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.
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Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.
Chef Philip Guardione used to spend his days and nights on Manhattan’s Prince and Spring streets, where his popular restaurants Piccola Cucina Enoteca and Piccola Cucina Osteria attract locals and tourists who love his Sicilian-inspired cuisine as well as the street scene in the vibrant SoHo neighborhood.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
The New InterContinental San Juan is officially reopening next month. The opening marks the completion of the property’s first major renovation in more than 20 years.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.