PyeongChang must learn Olympic preparations from Rio: Chief organiser

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5 (IANS) The chief organiser of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games has said the main purpose of his visit to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Summer Olympics is to learn about its preparations.

With Rio hosting South America’s first Summer Games, Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG), said he will be picking Rio’s collective brain, reports Yonhap.

“We still have many things to learn and one of our main purposes to be in Rio is to learn from the experience in the Olympic Games,” Lee said at a press conference here on Thursday.

“Our staff members will study every facet of the organisation in Rio to learn more about what we should do during the 2018 Olympic Games.”

On Wednesday, Lee reported PyeongChang’s progress to the 129th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session, and vowed “seamless preparation” for South Korea’s first Winter Olympics.

He reiterated to the press on Thursday that the preparation is “fully on track,” insisting that all the venues and infrastructure will be ready on time.

And to hone their operational skills, PyeongChang and its sub-host cities will host 26 Olympic and Paralympic test events in 20 sports — including snowboard, short track speed skating, luge, figure skating, hockey and wheelchair curling — between November this year and April next year.

“In terms of operational know-how and experience, the most important arrangement is to prepare and run a series of test events,” Lee said. “That way, everyone at the POCOG will acquire experience.”

Lee acknowledged that finances present “one of the most challenging issues” and that PyeongChang is searching for different financial resources that will allow it to “manage a balanced budget”.

Lee said he will also step up promotional activities for PyeongChang after Rio, saying, “All the eyes from the world will focus on PyeongChang” once the 2016 Summer Games conclude.



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