POSTED: September 24th 2015

Olympics: PyeongChang 2018 focuses on upcoming test events

The IOC Coordination Commission was visiting POCOG from September 22-24 / POCOG
The IOC Coordination Commission was visiting POCOG from September 22-24 / POCOG

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee (POCOG) has completed their fifth inspection visit with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and their focus has now turned to preparing for delivering the test events in early 2016.

The IOC Coordination Commission, led by IOC Executive Board member, Gunilla Lindberg, was pleased with the progress of the proceedings, but emphasized the readiness for the upcoming date for the test events. The next commission visit will be in March of 2016.

On the marketing front, under the leadership of POCOG President Yang Ho Cho, the organizing committee has now reached over 50% of its sponsorship target. Korean businesses have stepped up to back the Games.

The commission received updates on athlete and National Olympic Committee (NOC) Services, sport and International Federation Services, media operations, spectators, technology and the Paralympic Games.

Overall the IOC was pleased and Lindberg said, "The preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are developing well. Support from all the local partners continues to be strong, with the national and regional governments both present during our meetings. We were also delighted to have with us representatives of the seven International Federations on the 2018 programme, who brought their sport-specific expertise to the discussions.

"This was helpful for PyeongChang 2018, as it has now entered the delivery phase of preparations and is working on the detailed services for the athletes and technicians. This will be particularly important for the first sports events early next year, which include important dates on the international calendar, namely an FIS Alpine World Cup, an FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard World Cup, and an IBSF/FIL pre-homologation event."

She continued, "The venues continue to progress rapidly. We visited Jeongseon and the Alpensia Sliding Centre, and got a really good impression of what the athletes will experience come Games time.

"I am confident that they will be very pleased. The competition sites remain on schedule for the Games, but the organizers need to maintain their focus, as some delivery dates are very close to the start of the test events.

"It is important that PyeongChang 2018 delivers these events successfully and, in particular, the first events next February, in order to create a solid basis for its planning and preparations for the Games.

"This will also be a great opportunity for Koreans to experience elite winter sport and get engaged in the Games, as some of the world's best athletes in those sports will be present in order to get a feeling for the 2018 Olympic venues."

Another milestone, POCOG is working with the National Government and the Gangwon authorities on a venue legacy advisory group in order to deliver on their commitment to complete the detailed legacy plans for the venues by December.

One of the key legacies of hosting the Olympics will be about gaining knowledge of hosting such a world revered event. Much expertise has been gained in the sector of staging winter sports and will be useful in the future. The upcoming test events will be a test with local staff working closely with federation experts on the competitions.

POCOG President Yang-ho Cho noted, "It has been a very productive three days. I feel that we are moving in the right direction to stage great Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"With the feedback and support of the Coordination Commission, we have made a number of important and critical decisions. As we move further ahead into the operational phase of the Games, I would like to thank the national and International Federations for their guidance and support. Their expertise and Games experience have been instrumental to guiding POCOG."

POCOG also explained their program for third-wave restructuring with the support of the local partners, which has seen the number of staff at the Organizing Committee grow in line with the increasing workload that comes as the Games approach.

After the ground-breaking ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Village the IOC team visited Jeongseon Alpine Centre and Alpensia Sliding Centre.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · PyeongChang 2018

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