50 days to go until PyeongChang 2018
The countdown to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 reaches the 50-days-to-go milestone today, Thursday 21 December.
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) is marking the occasion with a special weekend of celebrations at the Olympic Park in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea.
A legacy of the fondly remembered Olympic Games Seoul 1988 and still a regular venue for sporting events and entertainment, the Olympic Park will play host to a three-day winter sports festival running through to Sunday 24 December and showcasing a selection of the sports on the programme at PyeongChang 2018.
POCOG President Lee Hee-beom said the festival was an opportunity to celebrate the progress made in preparing for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. “With just 50 days to go to the start of the greatest winter sports event ever, we are very proud of what we have created in PyeongChang and the efficiency with which the venues and infrastructure have been built,” he commented.
“We are ready to welcome the first athletes and officials in only a few weeks’ time and are looking forward to giving them, and the spectators, a warm Korean welcome.”
We are ready to welcome the first athletes and officials in only a few weeks’ time and are looking forward to giving them, and the spectators, a warm Korean welcomeLee Hee-beom POCOG President
He added: “We have worked hard over the last seven years to make our dream a reality, and now the international sports festival is within reach for us all. I hope many people come and enjoy the celebration in Seoul this weekend and that they are excited by what they see and want to buy their tickets and join us for the live action and entertainment.”
PyeongChang 2018 is ready and waiting to welcome the world’s winter sports athletes. Its 12 state-of-the-art venues are all set to host the 102 medal events, and have been put through their paces at a total of 26 competition and non-competition test events. The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) has already been handed over to the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and is now fully operational, as is the Uniform and Accreditation Centre (UAC).
The 21,466 volunteers who have been selected for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (14,647 and 6,819 respectively) have embarked on their on-the-job training, while the newly opened and much-praised KTX high-speed railway, which will shuttle spectators from Incheon International Airport to PyeongChang in just an hour and 50 minutes, has successfully completed testing. It will begin operating on Friday 22 December, with a total of 51 train services running daily during PyeongChang 2018.
Further milestones in the countdown to the Opening Ceremony on 9 February include the unveiling of the victory ceremony podiums and presenter outfits on Wednesday 27 December, while the main press centre will open its doors on Tuesday 9 January and the Olympic Villages will be officially opened on Thursday 1 February.