Head of 2018 Olympic Winter Games says efforts under way to cut costs

July 20, 2015
Cho Yang-ho, president of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Cho Yang-ho, president of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) — The chief organizer for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics said Monday that efforts are already under way to reduce the cost of running South Korea’s first Winter Games.

At a press conference also marking his first anniversary as the head of the organizing committee, Cho Yang-ho said he hopes to learn from the recent Summer Universiade held in another South Korean city, Gwangju.

The multisport competition for student athletes received positive reviews from international officials for its frugal operations. Gwangju, a metropolitan city some 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul, only built four new stadiums and renovated or refurbished existing facilities for most of the events.

“We haven’t yet established specific plans, but we’ll be renting pieces of equipment that won’t be of much use after the Olympics instead of buying them,” Cho said. “Also, we have more flexibility under ‘Olympic Agenda 2020′ (a set of reform measures by the International Olympic Committee) and we’ll be able to combine some venues to cut costs.”

Looking back on the past year, Cho, also chairman of the conglomerate Hanjin Group, said he believes PyeongChang’s preparations are on the right track “thanks to coordinated efforts by the organizing committee, the government and Gangwon Province,” referring to the home province of the host city.

“We won’t be wasting precious taxpayers’ money or government budget,” Cho added. “We’ve been trying to figure out how to run the most effective and economic Olympic Games, and some steps are already being taken.”

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