IOC, PyeongChang 2018 agree to set up “Integration Working Group”

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and organisers of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 today jointly decided to set up an Integration Working Group to speed up decision-making processes and improve integration between all stakeholders.

The decision followed a report on the current state of preparations for the Games by Chairman of the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (POCOG) Cho Yang-Ho. The need to quicken the pace of preparations ahead of next year’s test events was discussed, and it was agreed by both parties that a working group should be set up.

The working group will bring together experts from the IOC, PyeongChang 2018, the winter International Federations, the South Korean Government and the Province of Gangwon.

The decision came during the second of three days of EB meetings in Rio de Janeiro. The EB also heard reports from the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016.

Chair of the Coordination Commission for Rio 2016 Nawal El Moutawakel updated the EB on the steady progress being made in Rio by all partners since the Commission’s last visit in September 2014 and following its visit this week. El Moutawakel said the venues and Olympic Villages are rapidly taking shape, and she expressed the IOC’s confidence in the organisers to deliver successful Games next summer. This is partly due to a greater level of integration between Rio 2016 and all stakeholders, in particular all levels of government.

The Executive Board also agreed to three venue changes that will result in savings of USD 1 billion for the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 from its revised construction budget. The decision follows recommendations by the IOC’s Evaluation Commission and the reforms that make up Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.

The Tokyo 2020 organisers told the EB that they are reviewing their venue master plan “in the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020”, which encourages host cities to use existing and temporary venues where possible in order to reduce costs.

The three venues that will be moved are those for canoe slalom, basketball and equestrian (jumping, dressage and eventing). The venue for canoe slalom has changed due to environmental concerns, while basketball and the equestrian events will move to existing venues Saitama Super Arena and Baji Koen, respectively. Baji Koen was home to the equestrian venue used for the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964.

The EB also confirmed that venues for 17 sports will remain in their original bid locations, with the balance of sports to be discussed at the next EB. The 17 sports are athletics, boxing, equestrian cross country, golf, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, table tennis, tennis, volleyball (indoor and beach), weightlifting, archery, gymnastics, hockey, rowing and canoe sprint.

With less than a year to go until the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games, Lillehammer 2016, Chair of the Coordination Commission Angela Ruggiero told the EB that preparations are on track, enthusiasm is building and a new surge of energy has enveloped the city following one-year-to-go celebrations held on 11 and 12 February.

With the decision to hold the half-pipe events at an existing venue in Oslo to reduce costs in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 and reinforce the legacy of a venue built for a world championship two years ago, the venue master plan is now finalised.

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