Lausanne, Aug 31, 2017: Following its ninth and final visit to PyeongChang (29-31 August), the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission left the Republic of Korea very confident that the city is prepared to welcome the world to the XXIII successful Olympic Winter Games.
“Over the course of our three-day evaluation visit, PyeongChang’s readiness to host the Olympic Winter Games 2018 was highlighted,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg.
“We saw first-hand the advances that have been made on venues and infrastructure, as well as heard updates on plans to further engage with Olympic fans.
While details must continue to be refined in the coming months, it was evident that the Organising Committee is well on its way to delivering successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
With all permanent venues complete or nearing completion, in addition to focusing on operational readiness PyeongChang 2018 will now ramp up its promotional activities, with the second phase of ticket sales starting next week, and the Olympic Torch Relay set to begin in just over two months.
Both of these important programmes are expected to heighten media and public attention for the Games, while rights-holders’ and partners’ campaigns showcasing the Games will also start to get underway.
The President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, Lee Hee-beom, commented, “We are now just 162 days away from the start of the Olympic Winter Games and working to put the important finishing touches to the Games.
We are listening, and we are responding to all of our stakeholders and taking all the feedback and advice from the sessions this week. We want to make these the best Winter Games ever and showcase Korea to the world as a global leader in sports and as the new hub for winter sports in Asia.”
The Olympic passion was already on display at the start of the Commission’s visit at the Gangneung Olympic Park, as the delegation was joined by students from nearby Gangneung Haeram Middle School on the final stop of a venue tour.
The young fans represent just a fraction of the thousands of students who have been learning about both Olympic sport and its ideals via PyeongChang’s education programme.
Prior to showing the Coordination Commission members how to construct a welcome gift that Olympic Winter athletes and accredited media will receive when they check into their respective villages, the students snapped selfies with Olympic champion Yuna Kim.
The figure skating gold medallist spoke earlier that day to the Coordination Commission about her own passion to help ensure that the Games are a success.
“You can feel that Games time is quickly approaching,” said Korean icon Kim. “With the IOC and PyeongChang Organising Committee having worked so hard together, I firmly believe in the success of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. As for me, I will continue to do my best as an honorary ambassador of PyeongChang 2018, and help people engage with the Games until the time of the Closing Ceremony.”
The Commission also visited the Gangneung Olympic Village, which will house approximately 1,000 athletes during Games time. Both of the Olympic Villages are already providing tangible legacies of the Olympic Winter Games, with all the apartments already sold for residential use after the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The Coordination Commission members stopped off at another important legacy site when they visited the new high-speed train station at Jinbu.
Not only does the train serve as an additional transport option for those coming from Seoul for the Games, it will also connect Seoul to the Alpensia mountain region and Gangneung coastal areas for decades to come.
However, despite legacies being identified in the bid and different options being presented over the past seven years, the definitive legacy use for several venues is still outstanding. The IOC has once again requested that final plans be presented as a priority.
Representatives of four National Olympic Committees, all seven Olympic Winter International Federations, the TOP partners and Korean government officials were also on site during the Coordination Commission visit to provide their feedback, helping to ensure the Olympic Winter Games offer spectators and athletes the best environment possible.
This continues their strong support for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, which has already greatly benefitted the work of the Organising Committee.
“The collaboration from all levels of the Korean Government and Gangwon Province, including Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in, who is an ambassador for the Games, has been vital in the delivery of the Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang,” Lindberg said. “All of the delivery partners have played, and will continue to play, a key role in the success of the Games.”
During its visit, the Commission heard reports on areas such as athlete and National Olympic Committee services, sport and International Federations, spectator experience, the Paralympic Games, marketing, venues, communications and engagement, and legacy. —- IOC
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