Olympics: Pyeongchang vows test events will be held on time
The South Korean organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics insisted Wednesday they would be ready to hold scheduled test events next year, despite concerns voiced by the IOC and the world ski body.
Seoul: The South Korean organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics insisted Wednesday they would be ready to hold scheduled test events next year, despite concerns voiced by the IOC and the world ski body.
The Games venue of Pyeongchang is scheduled to host an Alpine Skiing World Cup event in February 2016, followed by bobsleigh and short track speed skating competitions in November and December.
But preparations have been badly hit by financial problems, construction delays and political infighting between the organisers, provincial officials and the national government.
In a statement Wednesday, the organisers said preparations were under way to hold next year`s test events "as planned", with both the regional and central governments committed to ensuring venues will be "ready on time".
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) picked the northeastern mountain resort of Pyeongchang as the host in 2011, favouring it over the German city of Munich and French Alpine town Annecy.
Visiting the ski resort last month, the head of the IOC`s Coordination Commission for the 2018 Games, Gunilla Lindberg, said timelines were extremely "tight" especially for the looming test events, and urged the organisers to step up the pace.
And in a recent media interview, the president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Gian-Franco Kasper concluded that holding the test events on schedule looked "almost impossible".
The statement from the organisers noted that a "detailed action plan" for next year`s events would be sent to the FIS by the end of February.
The option of moving some sliding events -- such as bobsleigh and luge -- to Nagano in Japan had been mooted when the IOC adopted a series of reforms in December allowing future Games hosts more flexibility in the sports they stage and where they stage them.
But South Korea has formally ruled out any possibility of sharing events with Japan, stressing its preparations were too advanced to consider venue changes.