PyeongChang breaks ground on athletes’ village for 2018 Winter Olympics

September 22, 2015
Participants attend an event marking the three-year countdown to the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. The South Korean government recently rejected a proposal by the International Olympic Committee to halt construction on a new bobsled, luge and skeleton venue and relocate the events to an existing sliding center in another country. The IOC said the move would have saved $120 million in construction costs and $3.5 million in yearly maintenance fees.(AP Photo/Yonhap, Han Jong-chan)

Participants attend an event marking the three-year countdown to the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. The South Korean government recently rejected a proposal by the International Olympic Committee to halt construction on a new bobsled, luge and skeleton venue and relocate the events to an existing sliding center in another country. The IOC said the move would have saved $120 million in construction costs and $3.5 million in yearly maintenance fees.(AP Photo/Yonhap, Han Jong-chan)

SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) — PyeongChang, the South Korean host of the 2018 Winter Olympics, announced Tuesday it has broken ground on the athletes’ village for the quadrennial competition.

The ceremony to launch the construction of the 2018 Olympic Village was attended by Cho Yang-ho, president of PyeongChang’s organizing committee, and Gunilla Lindberg, head of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for PyeongChang.

Lindberg is leading the commission on a three-day inspection visit to PyeongChang this week. She will hold a press conference Thursday in PyeongChang to discuss PyeongChang’s preparations for South Korea’s Winter Olympics.

The organizing committee said the Olympic Village, which will cover 42,000 square meters of land, is scheduled to be finished by September 2017. It will accommodate some 3,500 athletes.

“The village has been designed as multi-functional resort type apartments in order to provide an athlete-oriented environment while ensuring an eco-friendly atmosphere with maximized accessibility,” the organizers said in an English-language statement.

After the Olympics, the Olympic Village will be sold in individual blocks to the public, a decision that the organizers say will save PyeongChang more than $8.5 million. They also said they hoped the village will boost the local economy and winter sports tourism in the region.

Through the organizing committee, Lindberg said: “The Olympic Village is the heart of the Olympic Games. It is a special place where athletes from around the world come together to prepare and celebrate in peace and harmony under the Olympic values.”

“I am confident that this village will be a good facility for the athletes,” she added. “And I know that President Cho and his team will spare no effort to deliver the best conditions and services possible for those Olympians staying here in 2018.”

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