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Pyeongchang 2018 ready despite political situation and some concerns

Europe, Europa
13.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Lima (dpa) - Political tensions in the region, slow ticket sales and missing legacy plans for some venues are creating headaches ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang but the general feeling remains upbeat.

Organzing committee chief Lee Hee Beom pledged full stadiums and a good atmosphere at a presentation before the session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Wednesday although reportedly not even 30 per cent of the tickets have been sold.

"We are working hard for the passion," Lee said, adding that the nation‘s president, Moon Jae In, is helping promote the Games.

Lee admitted that some venues lack a legacy plan, and IOC coordination committee chair Gunilla Lindberg insisted that this issue - which among others concerns the sliding centre - must be solved in talks with the government.

"We don‘t want to leave Pyeongchang with white elephants," Lindberg said.

Although a lot of work is left to be done the overall assessment was however positive as Pyeongchang is all but ready to host the February 9-25 Games.

"We are looking forward to celebrating with you great Winter Games. The work is not over but together we will have the confidence to make it," IOC president Thomas Bach said.

But the big unknown remains the political situation in connection with North Korea‘s missile and nuclear weapons testing - with Pyeongchang less than 100 kilometres away the border.

Lee did not explicitly mention the situation and Bach said at the formal opening of the IOC Session Tuesday that "speaking now about different scenarios for the Olympic Winter Games would send the wrong message."

 

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