The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee said all events will be held in South Korea, less than a week after news agencies reported sliding sports could be moved to Japan, Europe or North America.
“The Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games confirmed that all competition events will be held in Korea as planned,” the organizing committee said in a press release.
The International Olympic Committee and Pyeongchang Winter Games officials were in talks about moving bobsled, luge and skeleton events at the 2018 Olympics to a pre-existing track, according to The Associated Press and Reuters last weekend.
“It will be difficult to apply those recommendations to our plans at this stage, given that construction for all competition venues is already in progress,” the Pyeongchang 2018 press release said.
Moving the events could save tens of millions of dollars of construction and maintenance costs for a new sliding center in South Korea.
“We will study the options once we receive more detailed information from the IOC, but for now it is our wish to have all events staged in Pyeongchang, Gangneung and Jeongseon as per our original bid plan accepted by the IOC,” said Cho Yang-Ho, the organizing committee president.
Cho said test events for the 2018 Olympics will begin in February 2016.
“It’s their decision in the end,” Gunilla Lindberg, a Swedish IOC executive board member, told the AP on Sunday. “But at least we’re going to help them identify where the sliding centers are, where the options are. In the end, they stay in Pyeongchang or they take this great opportunity.”
Lindberg said the IOC would send Pyeongchang officials a list of 12 possible venues outside of South Korea and that the deadline to decide to move sliding sports out of South Korea is March, according to the AP.