POSTED: December 12th 2014

PyeongChang 2018 confirms that all winter Olympic Games venues will remain in Korea

Alpensia Resort will be the center of the 2018 Winter Games / POCOG
Alpensia Resort will be the center of the 2018 Winter Games / POCOG

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Following remarks in the press this past week during the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting in Monaco that the sliding venue for PyeongChang 2018 would be relocated the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) confirms that all venues will stay in Korea.

POCOG President Yang-ho Cho issued a statement after meetings with PCOOG executives upon return and clarified “the recently approved ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ offer an effective and progressive opportunity for the future of the Olympic Movement, and we highly appreciate the International Olympic Committee’s drive to implement changes.” But with regards to its application to the 2018 Winter Games, “it will be difficult to apply those recommendations to our plans at this stage, given that construction for all competition venues is already in progress.”

“We will study the options once we receive more detailed information from the IOC, but for now it is our wish to have all events staged in PyeongChang, Gangneung and Jeongseon as per our original bid plan accepted by the IOC.”

“We do not have much time, considering test events beginning in February 2016. 

“We are developing solid legacy plans for post-Games use of the venues, as well as measures to control costs, and will continue to work on Games preparations in close cooperation with the IOC” Cho added.

News erupted in the press that the sliding venue in the Alpensia cluster, which is already under construction, would be scrapped and the event moved to a facility in nearby Nagano, Japan where the event was held in 1998 during the Winter Olympics.   

PyeongChang won the right to host the Olympic Winter Games at the Durban Session in 2011 and as IOC President Bach reiterated at his final press conference in Monaco at the end of the session, “We will implement the Recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 as of today [December 9]. We will start with discussions with the different organizing committees and what their ideas and plans are. And then there will be a result in an agreement.

“It can only be an agreement because these Host Cities have got the Games with a Host City contract and the IOC will deliver on the Host City contract. 

“But if there is an agreement with the contract partners the way is open for other solutions,” he concluded.

Gunilla Lindberg, chair of the IOC Coordination Commission overseeing the Games told AP as well, "It is their decision in the end.

"But at least we are going to help them identify where the sliding centers are, where the options are. In the end, they stay in PyeongChang or they take this great opportunity."

Korea Times reports that Gangwon Province Governor Moon-soon Choi said during a press conference on Monday, "It is against national sentiment to remove some of the events to Japan or any other country at this point.

"From an economic point of view, it is unreasonable to hold sledding competitions elsewhere when construction of six new venues is underway."

All of PyeongChang 2018’s venues are in phases of construction or renovation and the organizing committee is working to meet test event deadlines to fine tune the facilities for the opening of the Games on February 9 of 2018 in the Alpine region of South Korea.

The IOC will be carrying out a project review in January and February and the next IOC Coordination Commission site visit will take place March 17-19 with less than three years to go to the opening ceremony.

Keywords · PyeongChang 2018 · Yang Ho Cho · Gangwon Province · IOC · Thomas Bach · Moon Soon Choi

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