POSTED: March 19th 2015

IOC Coordination Commission pleased with PyeongChang 2018 but encourage to step up the pace

Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Gunilla Lindberg and POCOG President Yang Ho Cho meet the press / POCOG
Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Gunilla Lindberg and POCOG President Yang Ho Cho meet the press / POCOG

The IOC team toured all the venue areas during the visit / POCOG
The IOC team toured all the venue areas during the visit / POCOG

International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta inspecting the skating plan / POCOG
International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta inspecting the skating plan / POCOG

MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) It has been a satisfying visit for the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, to South Korea. The IOC Coordination Commission wrapped up their fourth visit to the host nation, and were very pleased with the process made, so far. However the Commission stressed to organizers, multiple areas which will require some attention, if they want to deliver a successful test event, early next year. It was the first time that the Commission has stayed in the city of Gangneung, the site for three of seven Olympic winter sports for the 2018 Games.

"The PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee (POCOG), led by President Yang-ho Cho, and its partners, have taken a solid step forward this week in their Games' preparations. We have seen significant advances in the development of the venues, a major new partner join POCOG, and a successful first meeting of the Integration Working Group, with all parties working hand-in-hand for the benefit of the 2018 Games. We are satisfied with progress, particularly in construction, but this positive momentum now needs to be continued to allow POCOG and Korea to deliver its vision and commitments," stated Gunilla Lindberg, IOC Coordination Commission Chair.

She added, "With the first test events less than one year away, POCOG and its partners will need to focus simultaneously on multiple objectives over the next year in order to deliver them successfully. The creation of the "PyeongChang Winter Series Foundation" to help organize the events is a step in the right direction, but preparing the delivery team, getting the venues ready, advancing the operational planning, refining budgets, and raising the profile of PyeongChang 2018 are all key areas that will require POCOG's full attention. The Government partners will also have a crucial role to play in the success of the test events and this is why the strong support for the Games from President Park and Governor Choi is greatly appreciated."

In addition, during meetings, numerous areas were covered in depth by the organizers. POCOG and its partners, in each domain, were able to gain guidance from the Commission's knowledge and experience of the Games. They were also advised, by the Commission, that rapid progress in each area of preparation would be required, if they want to meet their year-end objectives.

Having this in mind, the Commission learned about POCOG's management structure and evolution, which focuses on integration, and blending together resources from various stakeholders, in Korea.  A number of internationally recognized experts will be contracted in vital areas, such as operations and sport. 

The Commission congratulated POCOG on their recent initiatives, like their three years-to-go event, first Paralympic Day, and involvement in the 2015 Dream Program. All these initiatives brought together citizens from all over South Korea and promoted the PyeongChang 2018 to the world. POCOG was encouraged, by the Commission, to continue engaging people from across South Korea, and around the globe, while promoting the Olympic values and the vision of the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

"This is a turning point for PyeongChang 2018. Based on the feedback that we have received over this past week, we will move forward aggressively and with momentum, and our main focus will now be on operations. By working together as a team, we will deliver a successful Winter Games," expressed Yang-ho Cho, PyeongChang 2018 President and CEO.

Incidentally, the Integration Working Group held their first meeting, successfully, yesterday. The Group was set-up after discussions between the IOC and POCOG in Rio, in order to expedite decision-making processes and enhance integration between all stakeholders. Future meetings will be held monthly and will involve representatives from POCOG, the Olympic winter International Federations, the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Province of Gangwon, and the IOC. The inaugural meeting was attended by POCOG President, Cho; POCOG Secretary General, Young-jin Kwak; Vice-minister of Sport, Chong Kim; Gangwon Governor, Moon-soon Choi; IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi; IOC Coordination Commission Chair, Lindberg; and representing the International Federations, Gian-Franco Kasper. The gathering outlined how the group will operate in the future, and saw different parties all commit to improving their cooperation in delivering a successful Games. 

Throughout their three day visit, organizers and their partners gave updates to the IOC Coordination Commission on areas like: media operations, governance, the Paralympic Games, sport and International Federation services, and athlete and National Olympic Committee (NOC) services. Also, the Commission toured the Alpensia sliding center, Gangneug Oval, Ice Hockey 1 and 2, Gangneung Ice Arena, and Gangneung Media Village and Olympic Village.

July will mark the next visit for the Commission's Chair to the Republic of Korea for a project review. In the meantime, monthly Integration Working Group meetings will take place to ensure close collaboration between the IOC and POCOG. 

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · Olympics · IOC · PyeongChang 2018

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