Construction of the two Olympic Villages that will house athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang has been completed on schedule, a little over two years after work began.
A special ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Friday 15 December at the PyeongChang Village to mark their completion. Along with the Olympic Village in Gangneung, it will welcome its first guests on 1 February 2018. The PyeongChang Village will house as many as 3,894 athletes and team officials during the Olympic Winter Games. It will then provide accommodation for up to 2,268 people during the Paralympic Winter Games. The Gangneung Village will house more than 2,900 people, at the Olympic Winter Games only.
Attending the ceremony was Lee Hee-beom, the President of the PyeongChang Organising Committee (POCOG). He was joined by Do Jong-whan, the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Lee Kee-heung, the President of the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee; Lee Myung-ho, the President of the Korea Paralympic Committee; and provincial government representatives, other local dignitaries and a group of local residents.
“The PyeongChang Villages are complete after years of hard work, and we are pleased that they will serve as a legacy for the Games,” said President Lee. “The Villages will be a place where athletes and officials can relax and connect with their counterparts from other nations, creating memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.”Built by Yongpyong Resort, the privately funded PyeongChang Village comprises 600 accommodation units in eight 15-storey buildings. The slightly larger Gangneung Village has 922 units situated in nine 25-storey buildings, and was built by the Korea Land and Housing Corporation.
Both Villages have been designed to provide a home from home for athletes and officials, and are located just a short distance from the competition venues they serve. Their residents will find all the customary Olympic Village amenities, including a bank, post office, general store, laundry service, fitness centre, recreational centre, beauty salon and multi-faith centre. The Villages each boast a large dining hall that will cater for a wide range of tastes and dietary requirements, and will serve meals around the clock during the competition periods.
Athlete delegations will each receive an official welcome when they arrive at their Village. These ceremonies will be held in the central square, which will also provide a venue for cultural events during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, among them K-pop concerts, performances of traditional Korean music, and special mask dances to mark the Korean New Year on 16 February.
The Olympic Village events programme has been designed to support the cultural vision of the Olympic Games, and give delegations the chance to experience more than just their competition venues and sports during their stay in PyeongChang.
All units at both Villages were made available for purchase by the general public and are completely sold out, highlighting the fact that the legacy of PyeongChang will last for generations to come. The PyeongChang Village sold out by May 2017, with Gangneung Village following suit in November. All that remains to be done is the final overlay and completion of the temporary tents that will be used as operational facilities at the two Villages.