POSTED: Wednesday July 4th 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Achievements and improved venue plans announced as PyeongChang2018 celebrates one year anniversary of historic IOC decision
As a testament to the swift progress that has been made in the year since winning the right to host the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee (POCOG) has today announced some of POCOG's main achievements over the period, as well as improved venue plans, which are expected to add to the compact nature and festive mood of the Games.
"Since bringing the Winter Games to Korea last year, we have laid the foundations and the road map for the successful hosting of the Games in accordance with our vision of transforming Gangwon Province into a winter tourism hub in East Asia," said POCOG President Jin Sun Kim.
"In the past year, the PyeongChang Organizing Committee has been established, a Special Act was approved to support preparation works, the ground for the Wonju-PyeongChang-Gangneung high-speed rail link was broken, and the designing of the competition venues has begun," added President Kim.
With regard to the improvements to the venue masterplan, President Kim noted that following a review by POCOG, which included input from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Federations (IFs), and other stakeholders, as well as some local residents and organizations, it had been decided to make some adjustments in order to improve the overall Games experience.
"The adjustments are inevitable in order to deliver the athlete- and Games-oriented concept that we had promised in the bid," said the president.
Among the improvements are the changes in locations of the Opening and Closing ceremonies, the Speed Skating and Ice Hockey II venues, as well as the Olympic Station. Furthermore, the sites for the downhill events, Ice Hockey I and snowboarding have been confirmed after detailed reviews.
Recap of the venue plans
Site for Opening and Closing Ceremony
One of the key changes is to the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremony. Originally slated for the ski jumping venue in the Alpensia ski resort, the proposed site will be in Hoenggae, just two kilometers from Alpensia. The new site is where the national team trains regularly and it will be specially converted into a festive hub during Games time.
Measuring 80,000 sq. m, this festive hub will feature a temporary 50,000-seat stadium, a Medal Plaza, an Olympic exhibition hall, traditional food markets and other attractions that are expected to be popular with athletes and tourists. The change in venue was necessary after it became clear, following a detailed venue analysis, that there could be accessibility and weather related issues in the original location. The change will not impact on the athlete or spectator experience.
Jungbong, one of the stand-alone venues proposed during the bid, has been confirmed as the site for the downhill events after an extensive review by the Korea Forestry Service.
As the KFS had designated Jungbong as one of the 'Forest Genetic Resource Protection Areas', environmental groups had proposed alternative locations to host the downhill events. However, the KFS completed its review and confirmed that Jungbong would remain as the venue, and approved the original plan on June 20th. The KFS has begun the process to remove Jungbong from the protected list, after which work will begin in earnest.
Noting the importance of preserving the environment, POCOG has pledged to work closely with the FIS and relevant authorities, as well as with environmental groups, to ensure minimal impact to Jungbong and to put in place appropriate restoration measures.
Site for Speed Skating
The speed skating events will be changed to the Gangneung Sports Complex, which will also host the short track speed skating and figure skating events. This is because of the overwhelming demand from businesses to locate to the original site - the Gangeung Science Park - which limited the available space to host the venue. This move will bring together all the skating events and offer a convenient solution for the athletes and spectators.
Site for Ice Hockey I
The site for Ice Hockey I remains the Gangneung Sports Complex, as was proposed in the bid. The venue will be moved to Wonju and used as a multi-purpose gym after the Games.
Some proposals were received by POCOG to construct the Ice Hockey I venue from the outset in the city of Wonju. However, as POCOG's vision for the Games has always been a compact venue plan that would serve the needs of the athletes, it was decided to stick to the original plan and adopt new construction technologies that will allow for the venue to be easily dismantled and then relocated to Wonju after the Games.
Site for Ice Hockey II
The Ice Hockey II events will be moved from the Youngdong University gymnasium to another location within Gangneung, in order to provide the adequate space to include all the necessary facilities and overlay needed at Games time.
Site for Snowboard
Proposals were also received to move the snowboard events to Hoengsung but in order to remain true to PyeongChang 2018's vision of a compact venue plan, they will continue to be held in Bokwang Phoenix Park.
Due to a series of reasons, including safety, technical and post-Games usage concerns, Hoenggae Station will no longer be used as the Olympic Station, as was proposed in the bid. Instead, Jinbu Station will serve as the Olympic Station, which will leave a good legacy to the region. To ensure a good experience for all participants, a shuttle service network will be operated between the Jinbu Station and Hoenggae.
In terms of the 13 competition venues, seven already exist and six will be newly constructed. A budget of 19.8 billion Korean Won (USD 17.3 million) has been set aside this year for design works, which have already begun. Construction is expected to be completed by October 2016.
Construction and upgrading of the transportation infrastructure has started. A budget of 4.7 trillion Korean Won (USD 4.1 billion) has been allocated for 14 transportation infrastructure projects, including the upgrading of the rail link between the Incheon International Airport and Gangneung.
The POCOG is currently developing its Games Foundation Plan, which along with the Master Schedule and Marketing Plan Agreement, are expected to be submitted to the IOC before the end of this year.
In line with the Master Schedule, the POCOG's new emblem and slogan will be unveiled in 2013. This will be followed by the establishment of the basic plans for the ceremonies and the Torch Relay by 2014. The sale of Olympic merchandise is slated to begin in 2015.
"Less than five years remain for Games preparation if we consider the test events," concluded President Kim, as he emphasised the need for all the involved stakeholders to work together in order to deliver the Games on time and to the expected standard.
Notes to editors:
PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
The Korean city of PyeongChang was selected as the host city of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, on 6 July 2011. The 23rd Olympic Winter Games will be held on 9-25 February 2018, and the 12th Paralympic Winter Games will be staged on 9-18 March 2018. For more information about the PyeongChang 2018 Games, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worldwide Olympic Partners
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonald's, Omega, Procter and Gamble and Visa.
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