First test events in view as IOC concludes 5th Coordination Commission visit in PyeongChang
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 has concluded its fifth visit (22-24 September) to the Korean host city positive about the progress being made, while underlining the importance of test events for the Games preparations. The Commission was joined for the meeting by representatives of the seven International Federations of sports on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, who were able to share their expertise and actively contribute to shaping the project.
Commenting after the meeting, IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg said, “The preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are developing well. Support from all the local partners continues to be strong, with the national and regional governments both present during our meetings. We were also delighted to have with us representatives of the seven International Federations on the 2018 programme, who brought their sport-specific expertise to the discussions. This was helpful for PyeongChang 2018, as it has now entered the delivery phase of preparations and is working on the detailed services for the athletes and technicians. This will be particularly important for the first sports events early next year, which include important dates on the international calendar, namely an FIS Alpine World Cup, an FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard World Cup, and an IBSF/FIL pre-homologation event.”
She continued, “The venues continue to progress rapidly. We visited Jeongseon and the Alpensia Sliding Centre, and got a really good impression of what the athletes will experience come Games time. I am confident that they will be very pleased. The competition sites remain on schedule for the Games, but the organisers need to maintain their focus, as some delivery dates are very close to the start of the test events. It is important that PyeongChang 2018 delivers these events successfully and, in particular, the first events next February, in order to create a solid basis for its planning and preparations for the Games. This will also be a great opportunity for Koreans to experience elite winter sport and get engaged in the Games, as some of the world’s best athletes in those sports will be present in order to get a feeling for the 2018 Olympic venues.”
Additionally, the Commission was informed that the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), the National Government and the Gangwon authorities were working together in a venue legacy advisory group in order to deliver on their commitment to complete the detailed legacy plans for the venues by December. It was underlined by the Commission that one of the key legacies of these Games would be human, with expertise being developed in numerous areas but especially in the organisation of winter sports. The upcoming test events will already start to deliver on that promise, with local staff working closely with federation experts on the competitions.
PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee President Yang-ho Cho said, “It has been a very productive three days. I feel that we are moving in the right direction to stage great Olympic and Paralympic Games. With the feedback and support of the Coordination Commission, we have made a number of important and critical decisions. As we move further ahead into the operational phase of the Games, I would like to thank the national and International Federations for their guidance and support. Their expertise and Games experience have been instrumental to guiding POCOG.”
The support of local partners was also reinforced during the visit, as the Commission learnt about POCOG’s third-wave restructuring, which has seen the number of staff at the Organising Committee grow in line with the increasing workload that comes as the Games approach. The different levels of government have contributed positively to this evolution by supporting the recruitment and retention of secondees from their respective administrations.
There was also good news on the marketing front, as POCOG announced that it has now reached over 50 per cent of its sponsorship target. This showed the Commission the strong backing of the Korean business community for the Games.
Over the three days, the Coordination Commission heard updates about areas as diverse as Athlete and National Olympic Committee (NOC) Services, Sport and International Federation Services, Media Operations, Spectators, Technology and the Paralympic Games. As well as visiting the Jeongseon Alpine Centre and Alpensia Sliding Centre, the Commission members participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Village.
The next visit of the full Commission will be in March 2016.
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