We spoke to Choi Seung-yeong, Olympic Village facility team manager for the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, about what athletes can look forward to from the two sites in PyeongChang and Gangneung
How are the preparations coming along for the Olympic Villages?
Both Olympic Villages were completed on 15 December – this was celebrated with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at the PyeongChang Olympic Village. We are now into the final stages of operational testing, furnishing the units and setting up all the services. We are very happy with both Villages and can’t wait for the athletes and officials to start arriving from 1 February.
What can athletes look forward to when they check into the Olympic Villages?
Onsite, residents will find a host of facilities they’ve come to expect and enjoy at all Summer and Winter Games, including a bank, post office, general store, laundry service, fitness centre, recreational centre, beauty salon and a multi-faith centre. The Villages also have large dining facilities that will cater to a wide range of cuisines and dietary requirements, serving up meals 24 hours a day during the competition period. There will be plenty Korean food for athletes to try in the dining hall, while entertainment in the Villages will also have a strong Korean theme – both traditional and modern.
What are the standout features of the athletes’ accommodation?
Athletes will experience a traditional Korean heating system called Ondol – a type of under-floor heating that uses direct heat transfer – keeping them warm in their apartments throughout the Games. The closeness of the Villages to the competition venues is also a standout feature as it ensures the athletes avoid having to do long commutes to training and competition each day.
How have athletes helped with the planning of the Olympic Villages?
Athletes’ advice and opinions were taken into consideration throughout planning, especially regarding their needs for the fitness centre, the free Wi-Fi service and the distance between the transport mall and the Olympic Villages. They have been at the heart of the planning and we hope that they are very happy with the end result.
How do you plan to make sure the Olympic Villages are at the heart of the Games and retain the Olympic atmosphere?
An exciting calendar of cultural activities will take place each day during Games-time so that athletes and officials feel like they are right in the middle of the action. There will be screens showing all of the sporting events taking place during the Games, and the close proximity of the Villages to the venues and the plaza and park means that athletes can easily go and watch other competitions on rest days or post-competition.
For more information about PyeongChang 2018, including maps of the two Olympic Villages, click here