IOC Commission Pleased With PyeongChang's 2018 Winter Games Preparations
PyeongChang's preparations for the 2018 Winter Games "got a thumbs up" from the IOC on Thursday, "a stark contrast to ongoing concerns over Rio de Janeiro's tardy progress for the 2016 summer Games," according to Amlan Chakraborty of REUTERS. An IOC coordination commission inspected Olympic villages, the sliding center and venues for speed skating, figure skating, short track, ice hockey and curling at the South Korean mountain resort, "and were clearly impressed." Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg said in a statement, "We have had three excellent days of meetings and I'd like to congratulate President Kim (Jin-sun) of POCOG and his team for the quality of their work. We were able to see that a large amount has been accomplished by POCOG and its partners since our last visit in June 2013." The commission was happy with the progress of a new highway and the high-speed train connections with capital Seoul, "which the commission felt would leave a great legacy for South Korea" (REUTERS, 5/1). In Seoul, Jung Min-ho wrote the POCOG said that the sliding center and Alpine skiing venue "have already been under construction, while construction of ice rinks in Gangneung will begin on May 22." The construction projects "are scheduled to be completed" by Sept. '17 before test events begin that year. The members "also visited the site of the two Olympic Villages that will accommodate athletes during the Games." Lindberg: “We’re especially happy with the Mountain Village because we’ve been struggling a bit there but now they presented a new concept and it's good" (KOREA TIMES, 5/1).