Pyeongchang Games test events on track, say organizers

Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:42am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

(Reuters) - Preparation of test events for the Pyeongchang 2018 winter Olympics are proceeding as planned, organizers said on Tuesday, dismissing concerns by ski chief Gian-Franco Kasper that some of them would not take place.

"POCOG (organizing committee) is continuing with preparations for the scheduled test events beginning in 2016 as planned, in close cooperation with the central government and Gangwon province." organizers said in an e-mailed statement to Reuters.

"Both have committed their full support to ensure all venues will be ready on time."

International Ski Federation (FIS) president Kasper told Reuters on Monday it is "almost impossible" that ski and snowboard test events scheduled for next year will go ahead.

Outspoken Kasper, who last year caused a stir with comments about "construction mafias" and corruption before the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics, said political squabbling and proposed venue changes could result in the postponement of a number of test events.

"We had them here, a big delegation (Pyeongchang organizers) and now they think about changing snowboard, freestyle, everything, although it is almost finished," Kasper said during a break in competition at the alpine ski world championships in Beaver Creek.

"The new places make test events almost impossible, next year, particularly the alpine."

Pyeongchang's preparations for the first Asian winter Olympics outside Japan have been hit by budget problems and delays in some venues.   Continued...