IOC chief vis­its Pyeongchang to in­spect Olympic prepa­ra­tion

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee Pres­i­dent Thomas Bach ar­rived in South Korea yes­ter­day for a two-day visit to in­spect prepa­ra­tions for the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Bach opened his visit by at­tend­ing a din­ner re­cep­tion for a tri­lat­eral sports min­sters’ meet­ing be­tween South Korea, Ja­pan and China at a Pyeongchang con­ven­tion cen­ter, but he’s not ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate in dis­cus­sions that will con­tinue to­day, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial from South Korea’s Min­istry of Cul­ture,Sports and Tourism who didn’t want to be named, cit­ing of­fice rules.

The min­istry said the talks are aimed at ex­plor­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the coun­tries that will host the next three Olympics. Tokyo will host the Sum­mer Olympics in 2020 and Bei­jing will host the Win­ter Olympics in 2022.

Bach will visit Olympic fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing new snow and ice venues that are un­der con­struc­tion, and meet with or­ga­niz­ers there be­fore leav­ing the coun­try on Fri­day af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to Pyeongchang’s or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee. He will be joined by other se­nior IOC of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Gu­nilla Lind­berg, head of the IOC’s co­or­di­na­tion commission for Pyeongchang, and Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Pyeongchang or­ga­niz­ers have strug­gled with con­struc­tion de­lays, lo­cal con­flicts over venue con­struc­tions and dif­fi­cul­ties at­tract­ing do­mes­tic spon­sor­ships, but op­ti­mism over prepa­ra­tions has in­creased af­ter the suc­cess­ful host­ing of test events at Olympic venues ear­lier this year.

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