According to local news channel YTN, medics treated seven audience members at the scene who became hypothermic after hours of exposure to the cold air at the stadium, which lacks a roof.
The opening event, which included a large K-pop concert, was attended by some 30,000 people who sat in the open air for hours on a windy night in temperatures of around 3 degrees Celsius.
The need for a protective roof on the main stadium had been raised multiple times by lawmakers since its design phase in 2015, but was eventually dismissed due to opposition from the Culture Ministry, which quoted budget issues.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the previous three Winter Games -- held in Sochi, Russia, Vancouver, Canada, and Turin, Italy -- were all held in roofed stadiums.
The weather during the Winter Games in February is expected to be much colder than at Saturday’s opening event. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the average temperature in PyeongChang last February was minus 4.8 degrees.
|Seven people were stricken with hypothermia at an opening event for the newly completed PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Saturday, attended by some 30,000 people.(Yonhap)|