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21 Feb 2018
Olympic News, PyeongChang 2018
PyeongChang 2018

Future hosts engage with PyeongChang to get first-hand experience

For future organisers, an edition of the Olympic Games is the ultimate opportunity to extract practical learnings that can be used in their planning and operations.

To offer that chance at PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM) programme from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is providing a significant amount of collective wisdom on the nuances of Games operations to benefit future Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and Interested Cities.

“We have had outstanding engagements with all of the future organisers and Interested Cities, who have been very impressed with what they have seen in PyeongChang. The programme allows them to plan for their own Games based on a very strong delivery here. Our role as OGKM is to help guide them through a wide variety of subjects and bring clarity to an awful lot of complexity,” explained the IOC Head of OGKM, Christopher Payne.

The Observer Programme in PyeongChang runs for 21 days, and includes 55 sessions that combine observer tours, briefings and discussion forums. There have been 263 people participating in two waves – 132 from Tokyo 2020, 98 from Beijing 2022, 13 from Paris 2024 and 20 from the four Interested Cities that have joined the Dialogue Stage of the Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 so far: Calgary, Sapporo, Sion and Stockholm (in alphabetical order).

The programme is run by 23 staff – seven from the IOC and 16 from the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games (POCOG) – and uses approximately 25 experts from across various IOC and Organising Committee functions.

“With the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 opening in less than 900 days, these Games in PyeongChang are our last chance to get first-hand Games experience,” said Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya. “The Observer Programme is a very comprehensive and great learning opportunity for future OCOGs, covering a wide range of functional areas. Most of the participants did not experience the Rio Games, so this hands-on experience will certainly enhance the Tokyo 2020 team's capabilities and help us further refine our own Games plan.”

“The POCOG and the IOC teams have kindly shared their experiences in many ways. We are very grateful for their support and kind hospitality.”

A secondment programme placing staff from future host cities in key roles at the Games is the largest the IOC has run to date, with 60 participants overall – 41 from Beijing 2022 and 19 from Tokyo 2020. And a shadowing programme with around 50 participants has partnered staff at future OCOGs with their counterparts at POCOG, which is particularly useful in sports competition roles.

The IOC is also capturing data across a variety of different metrics related to security, transport and workforce spaces, amongst others. The objective for OGKM is to provide analysis of data sets that is accessible, informative and actionable. Metrics across all 14 competition venues, four non-competition venues and 150 competition sessions are collected by a team of four IOC staff plus 23 data capture assistants, in addition to approximately 300 data sets from the Organising Committee. For the first time, in PyeongChang, the same work will be done at the Paralympic Winter Games.

Finally, some 100 interviews and 200 hours of instructional filming are being conducted to be edited into 30 new films, which will be released to support the various educational programmes the IOC will be running in the future. Visual transfer of knowledge has been found to be highly useful in multicultural environments.

The Closing Ceremony on Sunday will mean the end of the work for most of those involved in the organisation of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. But for OGKM, it will be the beginning of its busiest period. Another 70 structured interviews will be organised with key operational staff to collect their exit experiences from delivering the Games.

In addition, a comprehensive process will be run across the next 12 months with a whole host of technical workshops exploring specific areas of learning for future Games – including a debrief in Beijing in June.

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