POSTED: September 27th 2016

500 days until PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games

It’s time for PyeongChang! PyeongChang 2018 Countdown 500 days to go © POCOG
It’s time for PyeongChang! PyeongChang 2018 Countdown 500 days to go © POCOG

PyeongChang 2018 mascot ceremony © POCOG
PyeongChang 2018 mascot ceremony © POCOG

IOC President Bach visits PyeongChang 2018 © POCOG
IOC President Bach visits PyeongChang 2018 © POCOG

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Today marks a significant point as it is exactly 500 days until the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. In 500 days, the mountain resort region of Gangwon Province will transform into a global festival, while PyeongChang will bring hope, tears, passion, drama, and joy to all sports fans.

As the Games draw closer, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) is taking preparations to the next level. POCOG is moving from the planning phase to operational readiness.

Venue constructions are on track for completion in time for test events from November to April 2017. 88% of the construction program is complete.  Six out of twelve venues will be refurbished to meet all the necessary standards and six venues will be newly built. Moreover, 80% of the venues are located only 30 minutes from the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Village.

In addition, the high-speed railway will be finished in June of 2017 and will reduce travel times. Travel between Seoul and PyeongChang will decrease from three hours to an hour. While travel from Incheon International Airport to PyeongChang will go from three and a half hours to under two hours. Also, in June the second Youngdong Expressway will be ready.

Furthermore, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach and Coordination Commission Chair, Gunilla Lindberg visited the host city before the milestone day. They stated, "We see great progress in PyeongChang." They went on to commend POCOG saying, "keep the enthusiasm, keep the energy!"

It took PyeongChang three times until they were chosen as host city of a Winter Olympic Games. They first lost the bid in 2003 to Vancouver and 2007 to Sochi. This gave them time to perfect their Games plan and invest in the local infrastructure. This resulted in them being awarded the 2018 Games in 2011. This resulted in PyeongChang 2018 bringing more direct and indirect benefits to the local community and neighboring countries.

POCOG is focused on making Korea a world-leading winter sports nation while investing in sporting infrastructure and proving the general public with more information on winter sports. The 2018 Olympic Winter Games aims to attract a younger generation of sporting talent. With Asian countries staging the next three Olympic Games, PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020, and Beijing 2022, POCOG aims to establish closer ties with the other host countries. This cooperation will bring prosperity to Asia.

PyeongChang 2018 is ready to bring the world that promotes Korea's traditional and modern culture, sustainable development, and peace to audiences around the world. These Games will have no safety barrier, no age barrier, no access barrier for the physically impaired, and no language barrier.

PyeongChang is ready to create 'new horizons,' for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

** 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 · IOC · Olympics · Paralympics · POCOG · PyeongChang 2018 · PyeongChang

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