IOC hails S. Korean preparation for 2024 Winter Youth Olympics

SEOUL– The International Olympic Committee (IOC) offered high praise for South Korea’s preparation for next year’s Winter Youth Olympics on Thursday, saying the country’s east coast province of Gangwon is ready for a successful event.

The IOC’s Coordination Commission on the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics wrapped up its third meeting with the organizing committee on Thursday. The first two meetings, in March 2021 and May 2022, were both held virtually, due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This time, IOC officials, led by the commission chief Zhang Hong, visited facilities for the Winter Youth Olympics in PyeongChang and Gangneung in Gangwon over the past two days.

They also attended meetings on finances, marketing, transportation, accommodations and other Olympics-related services.

PyeongChang held snow and sliding events at the 2018 Winter Olympics, while Gangneung was home to all ice events.

Zhang, the 2014 Olympic speed skating champion who retired after the 2018 Winter Games, said she was looking forward to a “fantastic” competition.

She also said Gangwon 2024 will be a meaningful opportunity for young winter sports athletes to compete in Asia, two years after doing so at the Beijing Winter Games.

Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games executive director for the IOC, said Gangwon’s organizing committee had successfully kept existing facilities in great shape, adding that the Winter Youth Olympics will further contribute to the growth of winter sports in Asia, following in the footsteps of PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022.

Kim Chul-min, secretary general of Gangwon’s organizing committee, said the 2024 event should be able to inherit the legacy of the 2018 Winter Olympics in the same province.

Gangwon 2024 will be the fourth Winter Youth Olympics and first held outside Europe. It will run from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1 next year, with some 1,900 athletes from 70 countries competing for 81 gold medals in 15 events.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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