Work on final 2018 Olympic venue underway in Pyeongchang

Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:16am EDT
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SEOUL (Reuters) - The organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics begun work on a new speed skating rink on Wednesday and said all construction work for the Pyeongchang Games venues was underway and on schedule.

"With today's groundbreaking, all our competition venue preparations are in full swing and I am confident that there is good momentum in our progress," Chow Yang-ho, the president of the organizing committee (POCOG), said.

"POCOG will continue to work closely with the central government and Gangwon Province to deliver an excellent Olympic Winter Games in 2018."

The 2018 Games will be held across 13 competition venues, six of which need to be built.

"The five new venues already under construction are expected to be completed by November 2016, while the speed skating rink is due to be delivered by January 2017 in time for a test event scheduled the following month," the organizers said in a statement.

Pyeongchang's preparations was hailed by the International Olympic Committee in May when a coordination commission inspected the facilities at the South Korean mountain resort.

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Patrick Johnston)

Traditional drum dancers perform as the emblem of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games is seen (top) during its Launch Ceremony in Seoul May 3, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji