An International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission was pleased with the progress for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics after a three-day visit to the host of the next Winter Games.
“The 2018 Games are on the right track, but it is clear that much work remains,” Gunilla Lindberg, head of the Coordination Commission, said in a press release Thursday. “We are confident that [the Organizing Committee] and Korea will deliver great Games for the athletes in 2018.”
It marked the IOC group’s third visit to the South Korean city and first since June 2013. It is scheduled for a fourth visit in November.
The Coordination Commission met with government officials, toured mountain and coastal clusters, visited venues and identified key areas that the Organizing Committee should focus on the next six months, such as marketing, venue construction, test events and Games services.
“The IOC’s coordination commission meeting reminded us the fact that it is now about Pyeongchang rather than next,” Organizing Committee president Kim Jin-sun said, according to the Korea Times. “After the Sochi Games, the eyes of the world are now on Pyeongchang.”
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Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.
Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.
Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.
WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET
On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.
Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.
MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice
In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.
The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.
The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.
Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.
NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.
MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi