The Organizing Committee for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games announced Wednesday some of its main achievements the past year, as well as its improved venue plans, which it says should add to the compact nature and festive mood of the Games.
PyeongChang 2018 President Jin Sun Kim said, “in the past year the PyeongChang Organizing Committee has been established, a special act was approved to support preparation works, the ground for the Wonju-PyeongChang-Gangneung high-speed rail link was broken, and the designing of the competition venues has begun”.
Kim said that following a review by the organizing committee, which included input from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Federations (IFs) and other stakeholders, as well as some local residents and organizations, it had been decided to make some adjustments in order to improve the overall Games experience. He said, “the adjustments are inevitable in order to deliver the athlete-and Games-oriented concept that we had promised in the bid”.
Improvements include changes in location of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the speed skating and ice hockey II venues, as well as the Olympic Station. The sties for the downhill events, ice hockey I and snowboarding have been confirmed after detailed reviews.
One of the key changes is to the site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The new proposed site will be in Hoenggae, two km from Alpensia and where the national team trains regularly. It will be converted into a festive hub during Games time.
Measuring 80,000 sq. m., the hub will feature a temporary 50,000-seat stadium, a medal plaza, an Olympic exhibition hall, traditional food markets and other attractions expected to be popular with athletes and tourists.
Future plans include 13 competition venues, seven of which already exist and six to be newly constructed. A budget of 19.8 billion Korean Won (USD 17.3 million) has been set aside this year for design works, which have already started. Construction should be completed by October 2016.
Meanwhile construction and upgrading of the transportation infrastructure has started. A budget of 4.7 trillion Korean Won (USD 4.1 billion) has been a allocated for 14 transportation infrastructure projects, including the upgrading of the rail link between the Incheon International Airport and Gangneung.
The organizing committee is developing its Games Foundation Plan, which along with the Master Schedule and Marketing Plan Agreement is expected to be submitted to the IOC before the end of the year.