PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) - The IOC is convinced that preparations for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang are on track, in contrast with concerns over the chronic construction delays for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Gunilla Lindberg, who led the International Olympic Committee’s coordination commission on a three-day inspection visit of the 2018 host city, said a large amount of work had been achieved since the panel’s previous visit in June last year.
“The 2018 Games are on the right track but it is clear that much work remains,” Lindberg said Thursday. “With only four years to go until the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games begin, it was important for the commission to be able to survey the progress being made on the different venues. We are pleased to see that work on key sites like the sliding center and coastal Olympic Village has begun.”
Russian organizers were under intense pressure to finish venues and accommodations until right before the Sochi Winter Olympics, and Brazilian organizers are lagging well behind schedule for the Rio Games.
The delegation toured the sites of competition and non-competition venues in the mountain and coastal clusters, including Olympic villages and media facilities.
“The third coordination commission meeting was the first one after Sochi, and it was especially meaningful because we had the high-level representatives of the international winter sports federations with us this time,” local organizing committee president Kim Jin-sun said.
“This year is a big turning point for us. We must establish a solid framework.”
The next coordination commission visit to Pyeongchang is scheduled for November.
The start of the inspection visit to South Korea on Tuesday was overshadowed by IOC vice president John Coates’ blunt warning for Rio during an Olympic forum in Sydney, when he said Brazil’s preparations were “the worst I have experienced.”
Coates later backed down, saying organizers “recently took a number of measures designed to make sure that we can together deliver a great games … (and) a lasting legacy for the people of Rio and Brazil.”