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The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 wrapped up its sixth visit confident that PyeongChang 2018 is moving in the right direction as Games preparations intensify in the final two years.

 

At a closing news conference with PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), President Yang-ho Cho, and Coordination Commission Chair, Gunilla Lindberg, expressed their satisfaction with the construction progress at competition venues and congratulated Games organisers for the success of early test events.

The first round of recent test events — the Alpine World Cup, the Snowboard World Cup and the Freestyle Ski World Cup — won praise from athletes and positive reviews from technical experts. The number of events and the workload for PyeongChang 2018 will soon increase dramatically, with 24 test events set for the next winter sports season.

The first test event, the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating, is scheduled for December at the new Gangneung Ice Arena.

Coordination Commission Chair, Ms Lindberg, said:

There is still a lot of work to do, but PyeongChang 2018 is on track to deliver great Olympic Winter Games for Korea and the world. We are pleased with what we have seen and heard during our visit.

POCOG President Cho said:

This Coordination Commission meeting has been a very productive few days for all of us, sharing constructive feedback and expertise.  As we move into the critical operational phase of the Games, I would like to thank the IOC and International Federations for their continued guidance and support. The strong partnership that we share is instrumental to our success.”

As we have seen with our first test events, our continued cooperation is essential to hosting great Games. With our close cooperation, we will ensure great Olympics and Paralympics in 2018.  

The Coordination Commission’s three-day visit (14-16 March) included a series of venue visits and discussions with POCOG on all aspects of Games preparations, including the athlete experience, legacy planning, sustainability and transport, as well as plans for the Paralympic Games.

Aware that the Rio 2016 Games are fast approaching, POCOG presented its plan to establish the PyeongChang House in Rio de Janeiro during the Games. The facility will showcase winter sports and PyeongChang’s Games preparations.

The visit confirmed that construction on the Ice Arena and other competition venues remains on schedule. The Coordination Commission also noted the strong and growing commercial support for the Games.

Before leaving PyeongChang, the Commission Chair joined a signing ceremony for the newest PyeongChang 2018 partner, Lotte, a partner for department and duty free stores. With the signing, PyeongChang 2018 has reached nearly 70 per cent of its sponsorship goals. 

Games organisers staged a groundbreaking ceremony today to launch construction of the $1.5bn Olympic Village.

POCOG President, Yang-ho Cho, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for PyeongChang 2018, Gunilla Lindberg, and members of her inspection team attended the ceremony along with the city’s mayor and president of Yongpyong Resort.

The Olympic Village is being constructed at the site of the 42,000sqm Yongpyong Dome in the mountain cluster and privately funded by Yongpyong Resort.

Construction is slated for completion in September 2017. The village will accommodate around 3,500 athletes.

Post-Games, the Olympic Village will be sold off in individual blocks for local community housing; a move set to save POCOG more than $8.5m.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cho said:

POCOG is committed to building a village that will provide the best environment for athletes so they can be in optimal condition for their competition. POCOG also wants it to be as comfortable as they are at home where they can relax and enjoy meeting fellow athletes from around the world.

Lindberg praised PyeongChang 2018, local authorities and the developer “for their hard work on this important project”.

Members of the IOC delegation with PyeongChang officials on the venue tour (POCOG). Courtesy: ATR

Lindberg added:

I am confident that this village will be a good facility for the athletes and I know that president Cho and his team will spare no effort to deliver the best conditions and services possible for those Olympians staying here in 2018.

The IOC co-comm is making its fifth visit to the 2018 Winter Olympic host to examine all aspects of Games preparations. The inspection started today and runs through Thursday.

Recruiting new sponsors following a slow trickle since the Korean city won the Games is one of the main issues on the agenda, along with budget and venue monitoring.

The IOC delegation also went on a venue tour on Tuesday, taking in the Alpensia Sliding Center and Jeongseon Alpine Centre.

On Wednesday and Thursday, further briefings and meetings are scheduled with Games organisers and stakeholders. Topics of discussion will include: venues, marketing, budget, people management, test events, Olympic Village, accommodation, engagement/communication and media operations.

The IOC visit concludes with a press conference on Thursday afternoon.


Reported by ATR’s Mark Bisson

Main image: IOC Co-Comm chair Gunilla Lindberg at the ceremony Tuesday (POCOG). Courtesy: ATR.

 

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If you haven't already registered to attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, then make sure to do so online today at: www.saevents.uk.com

If you haven’t already registered to attend Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015, then make sure to do so online today at: www.saevents.uk.com

Korean Air Chief, Cho Yang-ho, in line to lead Pyeongchang 2018 Games

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The South Korean businessman who led Pyeongchang’s successful bid for the Winter Olympics is set to return as Head of the Organising Committee for the 2018 Games.

 

Cho Yang-ho, Chairman of Korean conglomerate Hanjin Group, said in a statement released by the company that he has accepted the position made vacant by the surprise resignation last week of Kim Jin-sun.

 

The new Chairman needs to be officially approved at a meeting of Pyeongchang’s local organising committee on Friday. Cho’s election is considered a formality.

 

Sixty-five-year-old, Cho, was quoted in the Korean media as saying:

Now that I’ve agreed to take on the job as the chief organizer, I will dedicate myself to ensure a successful Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, relying on my experience as the top bid official.

Many people in and outside Korea recommended that I take this position and I also wanted to keep the promise I’d made with the International Olympic Committee to work for a successful Olympics here.

 

Cho, who heads Korean Air, was Head of the bid committee when Pyeongchang was awarded the Games by the IOC in 2011. He is a Vice President of the Korean Olympic Committee and has been President of the Korea Table Tennis Association since 2008 and Vice President of the Asian Table Tennis Union since 2009.

 

Kim cited a need for new leadership when he unexpectedly resigned on July 21. Kim Jung-haeng is serving as interim chief organiser until the new president is formally elected. Kim’s departure came amid an audit into the organising committee and concerns about the pace of construction and signing up of domestic sponsors.

 

The Seoul-based Board of Audit and Inspection confirmed last week it has been investigating financing and management of the organising committee. The results of the investigation, which began in late May and ended on July 11, are expected in three months. The IOC said last week it has “full confidence” in the organising committee.

 

Copyright: The Associated Press

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This September’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific event – being hosted at the new Singapore Sports Hub – will unveil many of the region’s key sports venue developments, including the new Hub itself (with a special behind-the-scenes tour), the Philippine Arena (which is now the world’s largest indoor sports arena), the new Perth Stadium project, Japan’s new National Stadium and other 2020 Summer Olympics projects, as well as venues for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

 

Hosted by Stadia & Arena Events and organised by local event partner, MP International (part of the Pico group), Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2014 will bring the world’s leading sports architects, producers and suppliers together with the end-users.

 

Attendees will be assured of an environment in which to network, knowledge-share, and hear insight from more than 50 industry-elite speakers on the latest in sports venue design, build and operation, while the exhibition hall (which already has more than 35 exhibitors confirmed) will showcase industry leaders.

 

Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2014 is a must-attend event for everyone involved in the sports venue industry, and most especially for those wanting to build working relationships and do business in the region. To find out more or to register, please visit: www.saevents.uk.com