Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Venues in Trouble

The construction of venues for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics has hit a snag. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is considering downscaling or redesigning a speed skating venue and an ice hockey rink that are to be built in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.

"The two new Olympic venues were overdesigned. There's no realistic way to make use of them after the Olympics, and their upkeep would cost a lot of money," a ministry official said Thursday. "So we're looking for appropriate solutions"

But the Gangwon provincial government opposes the move because it would make it difficult to meet the schedule.

Cho Kyu-suk of the preparatory committee said, "The current design was completed after lengthy consultation with the International Olympic Committee. Redesigning the venues would take about a year including fresh consultations with the IOC, and that would make it impossible to carry out the mandatory tests a year before the Olympics."

According to a master plan by the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, all venues must be completed by October 2016 and tested in February 2017.

The provincial government also points out that redesigning the venues would be a waste of about W10 billion (US$1=W1,018) it has already spent.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 13, 2014 12:52 KST