A new foundation is to be set up to manage facilities used during last year’s winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The foundation will seek to maintain the Olympic legacy in the Gangwon province, where the Games were held. Details of the new foundation have emerged as the Games celebrated one year since opening day on Saturday.
The Yonhap news agency reported that Governor Choi Moon-soon has said the foundation will receive 61.9bn won (£42.6m/€48.7m/$55m) from the Pyeongchang 2018 organising committee, with plans for an additional 40bn won from municipal governments.
Post-Games plans for the Gangneung Oval, Gangneung Hockey Centre and Olympic Sliding Centre have yet to be confirmed and Choi said this represents a pressing concern. The new body has been given the tentative name of Olympic Memorial Foundation.
“I’m sorry that we have not confirmed post-Games use plans for these venues,” Chong said. “The biggest problem is that we have yet to find a main operator for these venues, but that will be confirmed at the end of March.”
It is hoped that sports associations will eventually take over the running of facilities once the foundation has assumed management of the venues.
Choi added: “We can get tourists to use those facilities and invite foreign athletes for training. We’ll try to operate those facilities using as little taxpayer money as possible.”
Choi also confirmed that the Gangwon province has applied to host the 2021 edition of the Asian Winter Games multi-sport event alongside North Korea. The province would use Pyeongchang 2018 facilities to host competitions during the Games.
“We have proposed to North Korea co-hosting the 2021 Asian Winter Games,” he added. “But we know it’s not easy because North Korea still has to deal with the United Nations sanctions. We hope that the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit can make a possible breakthrough on that issue.”
Image: Andrew Schutzman