Pyeongchang focused on test events, says IOC

Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:37am EDT
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SEOUL (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has praised the quality of construction work at venues for the 2018 Olympics and said Pyeongchang organizers are now focused on delivering next year's test events for Asia's first Winter Games outside Japan.

Gunilla Lindberg, chair of the IOC's Coordination Commission, said in a statement on Friday they had been briefed on the full range of preparations during a fifth project review.

The technical visits to the South Korean host city serve as interim updates between full Coordination Commission visits.

Lindberg said the organizing committee (POCOG), led by Chairman Cho Yang-ho, was transitioning from a planning body to one that must deliver the Games.

"We could see that the organizing committee, under Chairman Cho's leadership, is fully focused on its first test events, as it transitions from being a planning organization to one that must deliver operationally," she added.

"We also visited the Bokwang and Jeongseon venues, where next year's test events will be held, as well as the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

"The quality of the construction work at all three sports venues underlined Korea's well-deserved reputation in this field."

The coastal city of Gangneung will be used for the figure skating, curling, ice hockey, speed and short-track skating events, while the alpine town of Pyeongchang will stage mountain events such as skiing, sliding and Nordic events.

Concerns about costs and construction delays had raised speculation earlier this year that some of the events might have to be moved away from Pyeongchang, perhaps even to Japan.   Continued...

The advertising hoarding promoting the 2018 Winter Olympics stands in the mountain cluster of PyeongChang February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski