PyeongChang, April 18 – International and local media joined Games stakeholders, athletes and senior leaders from the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) for a briefing session today to take a closer look at the planning and preparations of the Paralympic Winter Games, and review the success and learnings from the 25 test events, including the World Para Ice Hockey Championships which concludes on Thursday, April 20.
The day consisted of two sessions – a morning briefing led by POCOG Secretary General YEO Hyung-koo, followed by an afternoon of sporting action as home nation Republic of Korea took on Italy in their penultimate group stage match at the World Para Ice Hockey Championships.
Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
The Paralympic movement took a huge step forward in Seoul back in 1988 - for the first time ever, Paralympic competitors used the same venues and facilities as the participants of the Olympic Games.
PyeongChang will follow suit and is focused on inclusion and accessibility for everyone who is part of the Games. The venues have been constructed so they meet the needs of both Paralympic and Olympic participants with very little overlay and adjustments needed to get it ready for the Paralympic Games which kick off on 9th March.
To ensure easy access to the Games transport system, there will be 1,870 vehicles utilized, including 44 low-floor buses and 185 wheelchair lift vehicles.
To help raise awareness of the Paralympic Games locally, POCOG has created an education program in association with the Korean Paralympic Committee, Gangwon Province and other related organizations.
POCOG Secretary General YEO Hyung-koo said, “Our series of test events have been a great success and a valuable opportunity for our team to develop their operational skills ahead of next year’s Games. We will build on these Marcel Hirscher 25 events to ensure we give everyone who is part of the Games the best experience possible.
“Unity and inclusion are very important elements of the Paralympic Games, as is the legacy that it will leave behind. We are working hard to ensure it will be a Games for all, and that we use it as a springboard to develop sporting opportunities for the impaired individuals in Korea. We want to give everyone the same sporting chance and create champions of the future across both Olympic and Paralympic sports.”
PyeongChang 2018 Test Events
Hello PyeongChang - the test event series name - comes to an end this week having delivered 25 events (20 Olympic and 5 Paralympic) since February 2016. More than 3,200 athletes competed across the 12 competition venues (six of which are newly built), and more than 2,500 officials helped ensure the world class competitions were delivered at the highest standard possible.
The events have received high praise from the international sports community and media who attended.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Committee chair Gunilla Lindberg said during the 8th IOC Coordination Committee Meeting, “The success of both Team Korea and the test events has raised the profile of PyeongChang 2018 both in the Republic of Korea and abroad. Within the Olympic Movement and the winter sports world in general, there is now a clear focus on PyeongChang.
“Not only have we seen competition at the highest level in a number of winter disciplines but the feedback from the International Federations and athletes has been very positive.”
A workforce of more than 9,000 plus 2,380 volunteers were instrumental in delivering the events that were enjoyed and watched by nearly 200,000 spectators. The most popular events for spectators were the ISU World Cup Short Track and the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships.
With ticket sales for PyeongChang 2018 nearing the end of phase one in Korea on April 23, now is the time for local fans to ‘get their tickets and share the passion’ by planning their Olympic journeys to watch world-class sporting action on their doorsteps. Ticket information can be found at http://tickets.pyeongchang2018.com
POCOG Press Office