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Athletes and organizers test PyeongChang venues at events through April Updated: 2017-02-17 19:54:32 KST

In 2011, Pyeongchang was named the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and since then, the city and its satellites, along with the organizing committee, have been busy preparing for the global festival of sport.
And now, with less than a year to go until the Games, the preparations are accelerating to ensure the venues are ready when the time comes.

To ensure the venues are ready, a series of test events is being held through April.
Many of the events are part of existing competitions, like the Ski Jumping World Cup, which gives the athletes a chance to get a feel for the place where they'll be competing next year.

"The athletes who come for the test events have a good chance of qualifying for the Winter Olympics next year, and through the test events, we're able to give them a taste of what the slopes will be like next year."

Not only do the athletes get a chance to test the facilities, they can also try new things.

"The one thing we need to do is improve our consistency. All the guys are learning new tricks and now it's just a matter of being able to put down those in the competition runs. We're starting to make that progress, which is good. We still got a few more tricks we want to work on."

As important as the test events are for the athletes, they also set an important benchmark for the organizing committee, which says it's been working hard to fulfill the strict IOC regulations for Olympic venues.
And thankfully, many of the venues have earned high praise from the athletes and coaches alike.

"The ski jumping center is new and we were only able to practice on it for three days, but the in-run and out-run tracks were very well built, just like the established jumping centers."

"When the snow is in good quality, it's a lot safer for us, as well, because it's smooth, fast, allowing guys to do their tricks in the best possible ways, so it's fantastic here at the moment. This is one of the best pipes I've seen in a few years."

Even so, the organizing committee is aiming for perfection.

"No matter how well prepared we are, the Olympics requirements are quite specific and challenging. So when the test events are done in April, we're planning to review how they went, and we hope to finish all the improvements by October at the latest."

The committee is working hard to ensure no detail is ignored.

"From the management of the games and venues to smooth communication and information-sharing, there are several other elements to work on with the venues. In the latter half of the year, we will shift our focus to working on-site, so the athletes can focus on the Games."

Mister Lee added, that with all of the hard work the committee members, their supporters and staff are putting into the event,
Korea is sure to host a successful Olympics next year.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News, Pyeongchang.
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