At a closing news conference with PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (COG) President Yang-ho Cho, Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg expressed satisfaction with construction progress at competition venues and congratulated Games organisers for the success of early test events.
The first round of recent test events — the Alpine World Cup, the Snowboard World Cup and the Freestyle Ski World Cup — won praise from athletes and positive reviews from technical experts. The number of events and the workload for PyeongChang 2018 will soon increase dramatically, with 24 test events set for the next winter sports season.
The first test event, the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating, is scheduled for December at the new Gangneung Ice Arena.
Ms Lindberg said, "There is still a lot of work to do, but PyeongChang 2018 is on track to deliver great Olympic Winter Games for Korea and the world. We are pleased with what we have seen and heard during our visit".
POCOG President Cho said, "This Coordination Commission meeting has been a very productive few days for all of us, sharing constructive feedback and expertise. As we move into the critical operational phase of the Games, I would like to thank the IOC and International Federations for their continued guidance and support. The strong partnership that we share is instrumental to our success".
He added, "As we have seen with our first test events, our continued cooperation is essential to hosting great Games. With our close cooperation, we will ensure great Olympics and Paralympics in 2018".
The Coordination Commission’s three-day visit (14-16 March) included a series of venue visits and discussions with POCOG on all aspects of Games preparations, including the athlete experience, legacy planning, sustainability and transport, as well as plans for the Paralympic Games.
Aware that the Rio 2016 Games are fast approaching, POCOG presented its plan to establish the PyeongChang House in Rio de Janeiro during the Games. The facility will showcase winter sports and PyeongChang’s Games preparations.
The visit confirmed that construction on the Ice Arena and other competition venues remains on schedule. The Coordination Commission also noted the strong and growing commercial support for the Games.
Before leaving PyeongChang, the Commission Chair joined a signing ceremony for the newest PyeongChang 2018 partner, Lotte, a partner for department and duty free stores. With the signing, PyeongChang 2018 has reached nearly 70 per cent of its sponsorship goals.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee’s (POCOG’s) ‘New Horizons’ vision aims to expand winter sports in Asia and transform the local Gangwon province into a new winter sports and tourism destination.
From a logistical point of view, the concept for the 2018 Winter Games is one of the most compact ever seen.The vision for PyeongChang is based on a compact geographical area, split between a coastal and a mountain cluster.
The coastal cluster, centred around the town of Gangneung on the Republic of Korea’s eastern seaboard, will provide the setting for the events on ice (speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling), with the main Olympic Village complex and mountain cluster (comprising the skiing and snowboarding courses and the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton track) located only a 30 minute car journey away.