The 2018 Winter Olympics will be one of the most anticipated televised events of the year.  Not only is the Olympics the time to watch your favorite sport, it also helps us learn some geography.  The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea in Pyeongchang County.  They will be held from February 9th to February 25th.  This will be the first time that the Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea.  It will be the second time that South Korea hosts the Olympics.  The 1988 Summer Olympics were held in Seoul, Korea.

Having a mountainous terrain, Pyeongchang is the perfect place for winter sports.  There are several attractions for sports enthusiasts at Pyeongchang.  The  Alpensia ski resort is a major attraction.  Open all year, the Alpensia ski resort has six slopes for skiing and snowboarding.  The Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium will hold ski jumping events for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Pyeongchang also has a rich cultural history.  There are various Buddhist temples in Pyeongchang.  The Waljeongsa Temple is the most popular.  Containing a mysterious 9-story octagonal pagoda, it is a sacred site.  With a view of the mountains, the allure of the Woljeongsa Temple  is enhanced.

Pyeongchang is the birthplace of renowned Korean writer and poet, Lee Hyo-seok.  Born on February 23, 1907, Lee Hyo-seok was valedictorian when he graduated from Je-il Academy.  When he attended Gyonseong Imperial University, he published many of his poems.  One of the inspirations of his his nature poems was the mountainous landscape of Pyeongchang.

After earning a degree in English Literature, from Gyonseong Imperial University, he became a famous writer.  During his short life, he wrote 70 pieces of fiction.   He wrote works that  were ahead of his time.  He passed away on May 25, 1942 when he was just 35 years old.  As a beloved writer, he will always be remembered in South Korea, especially in Pyeonchang.  The Lee Hyo-seok Village is named after him.  The Lee Hyo-seok Cultural Festival, a fun family event in Pyeonchang, also honors this distinguished writer.

Outside of Pyeonchang, Jeju-do is the perfect attraction for the sightseer.  Located on the southern coast of South Korea, Jeju-do is the largest island.  Jeju Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is also one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.  Jeju-do is not the only island in South Korea.  There are three thousand small unpopulated islands.  They are situated off the western and southern coast of South Korea.

In addition to many tourist attractions, South Korea is also a good place to live.  South Korea is the fifth largest economy worldwide.  During the 15th century, Korea had the highest standard of living in the world.  Today, South Korea still has a high quality of life.  This nation is the 7th advanced economy.  It is also the fifth largest exporter.  The workforce in South Korea is well educated and skilled.  The average household income for South Koreans is the eighth highest globally.  South Koreans have the third best life expectancy.  They also have an excellent universal healthcare system.  South Korea is a technically advanced country.  They were the first nation in the world to have high speed internet. They still  have the fastest internet speed today.

Protecting the environment, South Korea has global initiatives in place to fight climate change.  Becoming less dependent on fossil fuels, they use solar and wind energy.  They also urge people to use their bikes rather than drive or take public transportation.  Daylight savings time also helps South Koreans save energy.  As a more friendly environmental alternative, they use LEDs in electronics and lighting.

As we watch the Olympics, we become engaged in  the excitement of the sport. We should also pay attention to the nation where the Olympics are held.  Remember that watching the 2018 Winter Olympics can also be like taking a free vacation to South Korea.