PyeongChang making good progress on journey to 2018
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Coordination Commission for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games today wrapped up its second visit to the city in the northeast of the Republic of Korea by praising the progress being made by the local organisers.
Following two days of meetings, the Commission, led by IOC Executive Board member Gunilla Lindberg, underlined some of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG)'s recent successes and looked positively on some of its upcoming milestones and planning.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Commission Chair Lindberg commented, "We've once again seen good progress from PyeongChang 2018 and an excellent team effort from the Organising Committee, all levels of government, and the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC). Delivering the Olympic Games can be achieved successfully only by working as a single unit and our Korean colleagues have shown that unity once again on this visit. We have been impressed by their ability to collaborate closely -- from the provision of skilled administrators at POCOG to the finalisation of the venue master plan -- to ensure that these Games will be a success. The PyeongChang 2018 team is giving its all for the Olympians of 2018."
Among POCOG's many successes over the last year, the Commission singled out the launch of PyeongChang 2018's new emblem, the finalisation of the venue master plan, and the progress in defining venue legacies as areas of particular note.
The new emblem was launched on 3 May 2013 in Seoul and PyeongChang simultaneously, in front of a live audience of 2,000 people. The emblem's ability to capture the culture of Korea and to reinforce PyeongChang's vision of welcoming the world to its Games was highly appreciated by the Commission members. The new emblem has now been rolled out across all of PyeongChang's communication's channels, and is playing its part in inviting people to discover New Horizons.
The locations for all the sports venues for PyeongChang 2018 have now been defined and work is progressing rapidly on the design phase to ensure that all will be ready in time for the test events ahead of the Games. With four-and-a-half years remaining until the Olympic flame arrives in the country, POCOG is well-placed to ensure that the athletes have the best possible fields of play upon which to compete. The clustering of sports venues in Gangneung will also create many potential opportunities for an exciting spectator experience in 2018, which POCOG must now begin working on maximising.
The Commission also noted the important amount of work that had already gone into legacy planning for the venues and legacy planning in general. The potential creation of a multi-stakeholder group to oversee the Games legacy, which was mooted by POCOG, was encouraged by the Commission, as it would ensure that all key players would be involved in defining the legacy of 2018 from the outset.
POCOG President Kim Jun-sun, said, "POCOG has laid a firm foundation for Games preparation efforts, in close cooperation with the national government, Gangwon Province, Host and Venue Cities, the National Assembly and the KOC. These efforts are evident in our Games Foundation Plan and the Master Schedule, as well as the development of detailed venue construction plans. We've received a great amount of support and help from Chair Lindberg and Gilbert Felli, along with the IOC Coordination Commission and experts from the International Federations. I'd like to stress the fact that we're fortunate to be working with well experienced and extremely professional members of the Commission. With only three-and-a-half years to go until the Test Events, we will spare no time to make further progress in putting together a successful Games in PyeongChang."
The PyeongChang 2018 team and the Commission also agreed that while good progress was being made, some areas required additional efforts to ensure their success. These included finalising the accommodation inventory for the Games, in order to ensure that the supply matches as closely as possible the needs of the Games; getting the marketing programme fully under way; recruiting specialist members of the workforce, so as to maximise the transfer of knowledge that PyeongChang can profit from during its observation of the Sochi 2014 Games; and ensuring that a competitive home team will compete in all sports at the 2018 Winter Games.
While PyeongChang has been working hard to build upon its successes, the Commission has also been reinforced with the addition of Ann Cody, as the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) representative in the group. A former athlete and experienced sports administrator, Ann Cody will bring a huge amount of knowledge and experience to help guide PyeongChang 2018 on its way to the Games.
Looking ahead, POCOG is well on its way to achieving even more success, with the culture and education programmes soon to begin in earnest, and marketing and construction tenders also about to get under way. These will all give a great boost to PyeongChang 2018's engagement with the local and international communities, making its activities much more tangible to those watching from afar.