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IOC delivers upbeat final review of Pyeongchang 2018 preparations

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed its confidence that Pyeongchang will stage a successful winter Olympic Games after wrapping up its final project review today (Wednesday).

In September, the IOC called on local organisers to enhance promotion and ticket sales efforts in order to help create a lasting legacy in the country. Speaking at the IOC Session in Lima, Peru, Gunilla Lindberg, coordination commission chair at the IOC, expressed her concerns at the lack of a post-Games legacy plans for some of the venues that will be used at next year’s Olympics.

Lindberg urged the Pyeongchang 2018 organising team to establish plans for facilities in order to avoid creating “white elephants”. However, speaking following the two-day review today, Lindberg had a positive outlook with less than 80 days until the Games commence on February 9.

Lindberg said: “Venues are complete, the Olympic Villages are being kitted out, the Olympic Torch Relay is generating excitement for the Games across the Republic of Korea, and I can attest to the convenience of the new KTX high-speed railway. 

“These are just a few of the many ways that preparations are continuing to be delivered ahead of what I am confident will be a memorable event for athletes and fans alike.”

The IOC said the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) is working to ensure spectators have access to updated accommodation and transport information, with ticket holders provided with courtesy shuttle buses and exemption from highway toll gate fees.

Enhancing local engagement has been a key theme for both the Olympics and subsequent Paralympics. In the last month, the IOC noted that POCOG has focused heavily on building up enthusiasm for the Games with the launch of its official PyeongChang 2018 app, as well as a number of other events and initiatives to engage Korea and the world with these Games.

Korean news agency Yonhap today reported that tourism authorities are ramping up promotions to attract foreign visitors to Pyeongchang 2018 by attending international travel events across the world.

With facilities now complete, POCOG is now focused on testing operational readiness and fine-tuning details. “We are now only 79 days away from the start of the Olympic winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, and we are ready to welcome the world,” POCOG president Lee Hee-beom said. 

“The snow is starting to fall here and we are doing all we can to increase the passion and excitement across the nation to encourage everyone to come and be part of this winter sports extravaganza. It will be the most wonderful showcase of sports and culture that Korea has ever seen, and we invite everyone to buy their tickets and join us in Pyeongchang.”