The Olympics opening ceremony will kick off Friday evening in Pyeongchang, South Korea, launching the highly anticipated Winter Games. People from all around the world will look on as more than 2,000 athletes from 92 countries compete for their national pride.
Here’s a look at the games by the numbers:
Bigger Than Ever Before
You know that little tidbit about the 92 countries competing in this year’s Olympics? Well, that’s a record. There are six new countries appearing in this year’s games: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will have more than 100 medal events. The International Olympic Committee added four new events this year: curling mixed doubles, speedskating mass start, snowboarding big air, and alpine skiing team event.
Team USA is the biggest it’s ever been before, too. Actually, it’s bigger than any Winter Olympic team in history. There are 242 U.S. athletes on the roster for 2018, beating its previous record of 222 competitors at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Olympic-Sized Price Tags
Hosting an international sporting event is no cheap endeavor. The 2018 Winter Olympics will cost the South Korean government an estimated $13 billion dollars. Of course, the event itself typically makes enormous revenue, between ticket sales, licensing deals, incoming tourism and international sponsorships.
Surprisingly, $13 billion is downright affordable in comparison to the most expensive games in history. The last Winter Games, in Sochi, Russia, cost nearly $22 billion, even though the anticipated budget was originally around $5 billion. That number jumps to $55 billion after including the post-game costs of maintaining the Olympic stadium.
Who Has More Medals?
Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen is representing her country this year with the most medals going into the game. Bjørgen will enter the Olympics with 10 medals: six gold, three silver, and one bronze.
She has a chance to beat her countryman, biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen, for the title of most decorated Winter Olympic athlete in the history of the games. (Team USA’s 28-time medalist, Michael Phelps, is still the most decorated Olympian of all time, though.)
Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number
This year’s youngest Olympian is China’s Wu Meng, a 15-year-old halfpipe skier. Team USA’s youngest athlete, 17-year-old figure skater Vincent Zhou, is only slightly older than Wu, but both are significantly older than gymnast Dimitrios Loundras. Loundras was only 10 years old when he won the bronze for Greece in 1896 in Athens.
Canadian curler Cheryl Bernard, 51, will be the oldest athlete entering the games. If Bernard, a team alternate, doesn’t actually compete in the games, then 49-year-old Finnish curler Tomi Rantamaeki will take the honor.
In addition to the curlers, this year’s Team USA hockey players will be a bit older than usual. The National Hockey League instituted a rule that none of its active players will be allowed to compete in this year’s Winter Olympics.
So Team USA pulled from the pool of retired or non-contracted players this year, as opposed to stacking the team with college athletes. That’s resulted in the third-oldest Team USA hockey roster in the last 38 year years, according to FiveThirtyEight.