POSTED: December 30th 2015

POCOG looks back on a productive year and is ready to dive into 2016

Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang / POCOG
Alpensia Resort in PyeongChang / POCOG

POCOG President Yang Ho Cho / POCOG
POCOG President Yang Ho Cho / POCOG

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) As 2015 comes to a close, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) takes a look back at the many accomplishments achieved and gears up for the new year. With the new year, the clock counts down on two-year still the 2018 Games. POCOG prepares for another productive year full of practice and preparations that kick off with the staging of the test events.

POCOG President CHO Yang-ho commented on the past year, "POCOG is moving forward with confidence after a very busy and productive year. We look forward to this next year of preparations and practice that will be put into action starting with our test events in February. The POCOG Team is excited to welcome the athletes to PyeongChang and test operations as part of our preparation for a successful Games in 2018." 

"I thank the staff of POCOG for their dedication and commitment this past year, and would like to extend heartfelt wishes for a Happy New Wear to all of our friends, colleagues, and winter sports fans around the world."

Within the last year, many leading corporations signed sponsorship agreements with POCOG including EF Education First, Samsung Group, Ssangyong, Interpark Corporation, SK Group, BAE, KIM & LEE LLC, Hyundai & Kia Motors, and Korean Air.

Also, the Korea Tourism Organization (KYO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with POCOG to promote tourism. POCOG signed another MOU with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) who will use their young volunteers to support the New Horizons vision and the Games worldwide.

Another significant step for POCOG was the unveiling of their new official 2018 Olympic and Paralympic website in various languages that includes Chinese version. A new slogan of "Passion: Connected" was introduced and received resounding global acclaim. POCOG's Chinese Weibo account boosted their social media account.

In addition, Directors for the Games' ceremonies were selected, and they will collaborate with Master Class Experts to orchestrate them. Chosen as Executive Artistic Director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2018 Paralympic Games was Lee Moon-tae. Also, POCOG appointed Song Seung-whan as Executive Creative Director for the Opening and Closing Olympic Ceremonies. Currently, the main creative groups are in the planning stages.

Over the past year, two successful Coordination Commission visits have been carried out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), along with a project review. Furthermore, six new events were added by the IOC to the 2018 Games program. The events added were: Curling Mixed Doubles, Snowboard Big Air, Speed Skating Mass Start (Men's & Women's), and Alpine Skiing Nations Team Event. The gold medal count is now up to 102 for the 2018 Games.

Moreover, construction of new venues is moving forward, and the Olympic and Paralympic Olympic Village works have started. 

Alpensia Sliding Centre - 60.05%

Gangneung Hockey Centre - 52.4%

Gangneung Ice Arena - 50.9%

Gangneung Oval - 22.5%

Jeongseon Alpine Centre - 57.5%

Kwandong Hockey Centre - 58.4%

Completion on the new venues is set for October and November of 2016. Kicking off on February 6-7, 2016 is the "PyeongChang Winter Series Foundation" with the FIS Ski World Cup at Jeongseon Alpine Centre. POCOG is gearing up to host a successful series of 28 test events.

The 2016 year will also bring the reveal of the official PyeongChang 2018 mascots. The mascots will boost the Games' marketing and branding.

The last year has brought a new Secretary General, Yeo Hyung-koo, who will manage a variety of elite level responsibilities. He will also work alongside POCOG President, Cho Yang-ho to oversee the Games' proceedings.

POCOG also added many stellar personalities as Games Ambassadors, which includes actor, Lee Lin-ho; MLB pitcher, Ryu Hyun-jin; Korean skating Olympians, Mo Tae-bum, Park Seung-hi, and Lee Seung-hoon; Paralympian wheelchair curling athlete, Kim Haksung; and celebrity photographer, Cho Seinon. POCOG went on to sign American Champion Olympic skier, Lindsey Vonn as their 1st International Games Ambassador.

For the new year, POCOG will start both international and domestic volunteer recruitment. It will play a vital role and make up for the bulk of the 2018 Games' workforce.

However, a critical appointment will be the Rio 2016 Games. POCOG will use the 2016 Games to promote the first South Korean Olympic  Winter Games to the world and the Olympic Family.

POCOG's calendar is full, and plans are set in place for the new year. A prosperous and productive year lays ahead for 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 · PyeongChang · 2018 Games · IOC · Olympics · POCOG

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