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PyeongChang 2018 dismisses FIS chief’s doubts over test events

Organisers of the PyeongChang 2018 winter Olympic Games have insisted that preparations for test events due to be staged next year are on track, despite International Ski Federation (FIS) president Gian-Franco Kasper having voiced his concerns over the current situation.

Kasper yesterday (Monday) told the Reuters news agency that it is “almost impossible” for ski and snowboard test events scheduled for next year to take place. He cited political arguments and proposed venue changes in the South Korean city as the two main reasons that some test events could be postponed.
“We had them here, a big delegation (PyeongChang organisers) and now they think about changing snowboard, freestyle, everything, although it is almost finished,” Kasper (pictured) said. “The new places make test events almost impossible, next year, particularly the Alpine.”

However, the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) has rejected Kasper’s claims and eased fears over delays by confirming that preparations for the test events remain on track.

In a statement, POCOG said: “POCOG is continuing with preparations for the scheduled test events beginning in 2016 as planned, in close cooperation with the central government and Gangwon province. POCOG is working to meet the expected requirements set by the international federations, and will send FIS a detailed action plan for test events and Games operations by the end of February.”

The FIS has included a men's downhill and Super-G for PyeongChang on next year's World Cup schedule. Kasper said a snowboard halfpipe and parallel slalom World Cup scheduled for next season in PyeongChang and a freestyle test event at the Phoenix Park facility are also in jeopardy.