When Do The Winter Olympics Start? As Rio Comes To A Close, The Countdown Begins

While the Summer Olympics aren't over just yet — Rio will host its closing ceremony Sunday — I've already got snow on the brain. Don't get me wrong, the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro had more than a few amazing moments. From Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin becoming the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal to Ibtihaj Muhammad winning a bronze in fencing as the first American athlete to compete in a hijab to the way American swimmer Katie Ledecky tore through the pool, there's a lot to reflect back on. But Olympic withdrawal is real and Rio's Games were chock-full of incredible athletic feats that have me eager for more action. So, when do the Winter Olympics start? They're not exactly right around the corner.

While it's never too early to start counting down to the next Olympic Games, it'll be a doozy of a wait before the 2018 Winter Olympics officially kick off. There are 537 days between Rio's closing ceremony and the opening ceremony of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. That's good news for athletes but bad news for eager spectators.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea's Pyeongchang starting Feb. 9, 2018. The city reportedly easily beat out Munich and Annecy in its bid to host the Games in July 2011, making it the second Asian city to ever host the Winter Olympics.

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Pyeongchang's Games will look nothing like Rio's. Aside from swapping sun and sand for snow and mountains, the Winter Olympics bring us an entirely different roster of sports. Think adrenaline-pumping alpine skiing, high-energy hockey matches, elegant figure skating, high-flying ski jumping, and thrilling bobsleigh. If that's not enough to get you excited, then just remember the Winter Olympics also bring us the totally weird sport of curling.

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The Pyeongchang Organizing Committee was on hand in Rio to give spectators a taste of what they can expect when the Winter Games kick off in 2018. "In Korea, of course, the winter in Pyeongchang — the mountain area — is very very cold," Myung Woon, the committee's project manager reportedly told Las Vegas Now. "In celsius, it goes down about minus 10 degrees to minus 15 [but] it will feel like much colder. Expect the cold in the Pyeongchang winter."

As the Summer Games wind down in Rio the countdown to the 2018 Pyeongchang Games begins. Although there are more than 500 days standing between now and the first gold medal final of the next Winter Games, many athletes are already training for Pyeongchang and I suspect we'll be cheering them on in their quest for gold soon enough.