By Rayane Moussallem
PyeongChang 2018 will mark the beginning of the Asian era in Olympics history with Korea, Japan and China becoming the hub of sports for the next four years.
“All the venues [in PyeongChang] are reachable within 30 minutes which make them the most compact structure in Olympics history. 90% of the athletes will reach their competitions venues within ten minutes from their accommodations so they can perform their best ability,” said Nancy Park of the LOC.
The journalists had the chance to visit some of the Games venues during their presence at AIPS Congress such as the Ski jumping Center and Gangneung Ice Arena.
“If you look around you, there are windmills everywhere in PyeongChang region. We need more than 190 megawatts of electricity during the Olympics period, all that electricity will come from reusable energies, our Games will be environmentally friendly and currently there are about 170 megawatts producing weight so we are at 93%,” the LOC guide said to the journalists at the Ski Jumping Center venue.
“More windmills are being installed right now so next year we will overachieve the commitment we made to the IOC in the bid file that all the electricity will be reusable energies,” he explained.
Moving to Gangneung Ice Arena, home to the Figure Skating and Short Track Speed Skating competitions, there was something special about the largest ice venue of the Games with a capacity of 12 000 spectators.
“The unique thing about this venue is that we have two different discipline events on the same ring at the same day. Figure Skating in the morning and Short Track in the afternoon, which is something difficult to handle.
“Figure skaters need softer ice because they have to jump, do crazy spins and land on ice, while Short Track skaters need harder ice as they travel 40 Km/h and if there is a crack on the ice they may fall and get injured. It is a magic that we had to create to turn the competition venue into a totally different one in four hours through technology.
“Figure skaters want -4 degree Celsius ice ring while Short Track skaters need -7 degree Celsius so underneath the concrete there is a very expensive cooling plant technology to make everything possible,” he concluded.