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Pyeongchang 2018 faces test event challenge and legacy delays

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Organizers of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games are yet to complete their legacy plans and face a challenging 28 test events in the coming cold season, coordination commission chair Gunilla Lindberg said on Wednesday.

Lindberg told the session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that legacy plans for several venues are still outstanding, but the president of Pyeongchang organizing committee POCOG, Lee Hee Beom, said they were seeking a strong legacy in the region.

"Our aim is to become a hub of winter sport in Asia," he said, also looking at possibly growing interest in winter sport in Asia with the following winter Games 2022 in Beijing.

Lee is the third POCOG president since Pyeongchang was elected host in 2011, and the event has also seen budget problems and construction delays - with the sliding venue and the international broadcast centre still behind schedule.

Pyeongchang has so far only staged two test events, in alpine and freestyle skiing, but a further 28 are set for between October and April.

"It is a big challenge, 28 test events have to be delivered to showcase the level of readiness," Lindberg said, naming the scheme "very ambitious."

Lindberg expressed hope that Pyeongchang will use these events to step up promotion efforts it has lacked over the previous years. But she also said the Koreans are making "very positive progress" overall.

Lee meanwhile said that Pyeongchang has now reached 81 per cent of its revenue target with 615 million dollars, and an additional 65 million dollars are to bring the figure to 90 per cent by the end of the year.

"After Rio all eyes will be on Pyeongchang," he said, with IOC president Thomas Bach expressing hope in "great Games for Pyeongchang, Korea and Asia."

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