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Government decision gives PyeongChang 2018 legacy boost

The PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic winter Games (POCOG) has been given a legacy boost after South Korea’s government confirmed that two ice sports venues scheduled for demolition after the Games will now remain in place.

In a meeting headed up by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn earlier today (Friday), the government agreed that the Hockey Centre and Oval in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, will remain in use after the 2018 Games. Gangneung will act as a sub-host for the Games, staging ice hockey, curling, figure skating, short track and speed skating contests.

Both venues are currently under construction, with the ice hockey facility set for completion in November this year, while the Oval (pictured) is due to be finished by March next year. Under initial plans announced in June 2014, organisers said that both venues would be torn down after the Games as they were unable to establish a use for them once the Olympics had ended.

However, according to Korean news agency Yonhap, the Hockey Centre will now become the home arena for local semi-professional and youth ice hockey clubs. The 10,000-capacity venue, scheduled to stage ice hockey games at PyeongChang 2018, will be managed by Korean company Daemyung Holdings after the Games.

The future of the Oval is less clear, with corporations yet to put forward offers to control the venue. The facility, which is due to host speed skating events at the Games, once finished, will have a capacity of 8,000 and a 400m double skating track.