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An Inside Look at the 2018 Olympic Venues Hot

pyeongchangAs the dust settles from PyeongChang’s selection as host of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the real business of coordinating the effort is in full swing.

While implementing the venues and infrastructure included in a bid is daunting, PyeongChang will benefit from preexisting facilities from various high-profile winter competitions held in the coastal city.

It’s also interesting to point out that the planning committee has set forth a plan in which all venues are within a 30 minute drive of one another; that’s a major upgrade over Vancouver, for example, where much of the skiing facilities were a full two-hour venture from the city center.

Here is a look at the competition and non-competition venues expected to house the 2018 Games, what is already completed and what construction projects are shovel-ready.

Competition Venues:

PyeongChang 2018 will feature three distinct competition venues: the Alpensia Cluster, the Coastal Cluster and stand-alone venues. The Alpensia Cluster will play host to seven separate sports. The biathlon venue, already built, was remodeled in 2007 and hosted the 2009 Biathlon World Championships. Meanwhile both the cross-country skiing and ski jumping venues already stand and were recently upgraded to IOC Olympic standards. The 2009 FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup was hosted in PyeongChang’s ski jumping venue. Additionally, the YongPyong Resort in the Alpensia Cluster will host the technical alpine skiing competitions (such as slalom). Previously, it hosted FIS World Cup Events in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. Lastly, the Alpensia Sliding Center will be “purpose-built” for the 2018 Games, outfitted for Luge, Bobsleigh and Skeleton.

Over in the Coastal Cluster, all ice competition (ice hockey, figure skating, etc.) will take place. Only curling will be hosted in a preexisting venue, the Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink, which has hosted worldwide competition previously. That means four facilities will be built to host speed skating, figure skating and short track speed skating and ice hockey. In fact, two separate arenas will be built for hockey – one permanent and one temporary. Due to the number of games played, hockey usually requires two locations. As a refercence point, Vancouver utilized Canada Hockey Place (home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks) and the Thunderbird Arena (home of the UBC hockey team).

Lastly, a few remaining stand-alone venues round out the list of competition venues in PyeongChang. Already standing, the Bokwang Phoenix Park, remodeled in 2005, will host the freestyle skiing and snowboard events. The remaining alpine skiing events will be held in Jungbong, where FIS experts have already designed the course according to competition standards.

To summarize, three areas, twelve total venues, seven already built, five under construction.

Non-Competition Venues:

Two Olympic Villages will be constructed, one for the Coastal and Alpensia Cluster each. Each will be built in the style of a four-star hotel and a total of nearly 1500 units will be built to house athletes, media, etc. Additionally both Bokwang and Jungbong will utilize first-rate hotels that already exist in the area.

Just a five minute walk from the Alpensia Cluster will stand the International Broadcast Center and Main Press Center, with a separate area for the Mountain Media Center covering the skiing events in that cluster. The Coastal Cluster will have its own distinct Mountain Media Center to cover that portion of the skiing/snowboarding competition.

The opening and closing ceremonies, scheduled for February 9 and February 25, 2018, will take place in the Alpensia Cluster.

See you in 2,405 days PyeongChang.


-Ryan O'Leary

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