Pyeongchang says ‘no possibility’ of game sharing

December 12, 2014
Released on July 16, 2014, is the image of the ice rink for figure and short-track speed skating events at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to be built in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)

Image of the ice rink for figure and short-track speed skating events at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to be built in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. (Yonhap)

By Nam Hyun-woo

The 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games chief organizer confirmed Friday “there is no possibility” events will be shared with cities outside of Korea.

“Construction for all the venues for the PyeongChang Games has begun. At this juncture, it is difficult to adopt the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) reform package,” the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) President and CEO Cho Yang-ho said in a statement.

He said he “highly appreciates” the IOC’s initiative for the reforms because it will be very effective for the Olympic Movement down the road, but insists all events in 2018 will be staged in the counties of PyeongChang and Jeongseon, and the city of Gangneung.

The IOC Monday unanimously approved President Thomas Bach’s 40-point “Olympic Agenda 2020″ reform package, which includes recommendations allowing cities to stage some events in different countries to cut costs.

The IOC is worried that a new sliding venue under construction in Gangwon Province may have little use after the Games and wants the POCOG to move sliding events to countries that already have venues, such as Japan. But, local governments and interested parties have insisted they have no intention of splitting the host role with other countries.

“Given that the test event for the Olympics will kick off in February, 2016, there is very limited time for preparation,” Cho said. “We will come up with a perfect plan for venues’ after-use and cost-saving. Through consultations with the IOC, the POCOG will continue preparation work,” he added.

The POCOG expects the IOC to make suggestions over alternate sites for sliding events within a short period time, but said it is ready to counter any such proposals.

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