Lausanne, Mar 15, 2017: With PyeongChang 2018 now less than a year away, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission wrapped-up its eighth visit (13-15 March 2017) to the Korean host city confident that athletes and fans in 2018 would have a unique Olympic Winter Games experience.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg said, “For fans coming from near and far to witness history, great sport will mix with culture, Korean hospitality and a party atmosphere, as people from around the world gather in celebration at the Olympic Plaza’s medal ceremonies in PyeongChang and the Olympic Park in Gangneung. The proximity of the mountain and coastal clusters will even allow fans to see a snow and an ice sport on the same day. This special combination of factors means that both the athletes and the fans will have a unique experience at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.”
She continued, “PyeongChang 2018 will deliver top-quality venues and fields of play on both snow and ice for the best Olympic winter athletes next year. We can say this with certainty, as we have witnessed good progress in venue construction and received great feedback from the athletes at the 17 test events completed so far this winter. This, combined with two first-class Olympic Villages, will make these Games truly memorable for the Olympians and Paralympians of 2018. We congratulate President Lee and his team at POCOG for all their efforts.”
Ticket sales are now underway in the Republic of Korea and in many territories around the world, making this the best opportunity for fans to get the tickets that they want. The closeness of the different venues, as well as the Plaza and Park concepts, mean that PyeongChang will offer great opportunities for sports fans and those just discovering winter sports. To make sure that as many people as possible can discover PyeongChang and that the athletes can compete in front of packed stadiums, the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) will be enhancing its promotional efforts, and especially those informing potential spectators about the different ways to enjoy and participate in the Games.
POCOG President Hee-beom Lee commented, “With less than one year to go, POCOG and its partners are committed to creating excitement for the Games and engaging the public. This is a very exciting time for us, and we look forward to welcoming the world to discover New Horizons in PyeongChang.”
Part of this ongoing promotional effort will also include the Olympic Torch Relay. The Olympic torch and the torchbearers’ uniforms were launched at one year to go, with the torchbearer selection process expected to be launched in the coming months. When the Relay gets under way towards the end of 2017, this will undoubtedly bring excitement to the whole country.
During its visit, the Commission visited the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, the Alpensia Sliding Centre, the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, and the International Broadcast Centre, which are on track for delivery according to schedule. They also joined IOC President Thomas Bach and the IOC Executive Board members on a visit of the PyeongChang Olympic Village, where they met some athletes competing in the IBSF World Cup this week at the sliding centre.
POCOG informed the Commission that it was making good progress with the post-Games planning for the competition venues, with 10 of the 12 venues now having confirmed detailed legacy plans. Another area that is also being closely followed is the development of knowledge and expertise, with great efforts being made by all parties involved in the Games to bring top-level experience to PyeongChang, in order to ensure the Games are organised at the highest level. This will offer local staff the opportunity to learn from the experts and raise the level of event and sport organisation in the region. This will also be true of the volunteers, who are currently going through a recruitment process and will begin their training as of April this year.
The Coordination Commission also praised the support of the local authorities, with Chair Lindberg commenting: “IOC President Bach and I had the opportunity to meet the Acting President of the Republic of Korea Kyo-ahn Hwang and the Chair of the National Assembly Sye-kyun Chung yesterday, and both underlined their support for the Games. The wider support for the Games was emphasised by the work of the Assembly recently for the Games Special Act.” She continued, “At both a national and regional level, with Governor Moon-soon Choi in Gangwon Province, we know that we can count on the whole of Korea to get behind the Games. We thank all the local authorities for their efforts.”
During its visit, the Commission looked at all areas of Games preparations, including athletes, National Olympic Committees, sport, spectators, media, marketing and the Paralympic Games. The next and final visit of the IOC’s Coordination Commission to PyeongChang will be in August. —- IOC