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1 September 2017

PyeongChang Declared ‘Ready’ for 2018 Winter Olympic Games Following IOC Evaluation

Between the 29th and 31st of August, the Coordination Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made their ninth and final visit to PyeongChang ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which as I’m sure you’re aware will be held in the South Korean city. The purpose of the trip was to assess PyeongChang’s ‘readiness’ to host the games; an assessment the city seems to have passed with flying colours, according to a recently issued press release.

“Over the course of our three-day evaluation visit, PyeongChang’s readiness to host the Olympic Winter Games 2018 was highlighted,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg. “We saw first-hand the advances that have been made on venues and infrastructure, as well as heard updates on plans to further engage with Olympic fans. While details must continue to be refined in the coming months, it was evident that the Organising Committee is well on its way to delivering successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

All permanent venues are now either complete or nearing completion, and so the focus in PyeongChang is now shifting towards promotional activities with the second phase of ticket sales starting next week, and the Olympic Torch Relay due to begin in around two months.

The President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, Lee Hee-beom, commented, “We are now just 162 days away from the start of the Olympic Winter Games and working to put the important finishing touches to the Games. We are listening, and we are responding to all of our stakeholders and taking all the feedback and advice from the sessions this week. We want to make these the best Winter Games ever and showcase Korea to the world as a global leader in sports and as the new hub for winter sports in Asia.”

During their time in PyeongChang the Coordination Commission also visited the Gangneung Olympic Village, which will provide a home to around 1,000 international athletes over the course of the games. The commission were particularly impressed with the legacy credential of the Olympic villages, as all of the apartments have already been sold off for residential use following the games’ conclusion. Commission members also visited various other legacy sites, such as the new high-speed train station at Jinbu.

The final stop on the venue tour saw the Coordination Commission being joined by pupils of the nearby Gangneung Haeram Middle School, who spent their time teaching the commission members how to construct a welcome gift that Olympic Winter athletes and accredited media will receive when they check into their respective villages, in between taking selfies with Korean Olympic figure skating gold medallist Yuna Kim, who joined the delegation for the tour.

“You can feel that Games time is quickly approaching,” said Kim. “With the IOC and PyeongChang Organising Committee having worked so hard together, I firmly believe in the success of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. As for me, I will continue to do my best as an honorary ambassador of PyeongChang 2018, and help people engage with the Games until the time of the Closing Ceremony.”

On a closing note, Lindberg also piled praise upon the local authorities who collaborated to make the city ready for the games.

“The collaboration from all levels of the Korean Government and Gangwon Province, including Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in, who is an ambassador for the Games, has been vital in the delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang,” Lindberg said. “All of the delivery partners have played, and will continue to play, a key role in the success of the Games.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.