Jeongseon almost ready for skiers

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Jeongseon almost ready for skiers

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Jeongseon Alpine Centre is covered with snow and nearly ready to host the Audi FIS World Cup, the first test event for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, next month in Jeongseon, Gangwon. [POCOG]

The organizers for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games said Wednesday that preparations for the first test event at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre next month are nearly complete.

The Jeongseon Alpine Centre, located 220 kilometers (136 miles) east of Seoul, is scheduled to host the Audi FIS World Cup men’s downhill and super-G race Feb. 6-7. The event is one of the 28 test events before the PyeongChang Winter Games kick off.

There were concerns about whether the organizers could complete the necessary arrangements before events start, particularly the installation of the gondola and the creation of enough snow for the courses.

But the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (Pocog) said that despite the challenge, they are almost ready to host their first-ever FIS Ski World Cup.

“The snow-making on the course has now marked 101 percent, exceeding the FIS’s snow requirement of 1.2 meters,” said Pocog President Cho Yang-ho in a statement. “The installation of the gondola has also finished and has now entered testing operations.”

The organizers said they’ve been using 110 snow-making machines to cover the course, and that workers are now installing safety nets in certain areas.

Construction for the organizing committee’s management office will be finished by Friday, the organizers said, while installation of a 3.7-kilometer long telecommunications cable will be finished by Saturday and will go straight into testing.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) will conduct a final course inspection of Jeongseon Alpine Centre next Wednesday. Once the FIS approves, the ski course is cleared to host the event.

“It is true that there were concerns about whether the test event could be staged normally because of the tight construction schedule,” said Pocog secretary-general Yeo Hyeong-gu. “Now what’s important for us is providing even better service during the World Cup.”

The organizers have also been recruiting short-term and volunteer workers to ensure the event runs smoothly.

Pocog said a Far East Cup race is scheduled in Jeongseon on Jan. 27-28 as a trial run before the FIS World Cup to prepare the operational team.

Jeongseon Alpine Centre is one of the few downhill courses in Asia and the first of its kind in Korea. Designed by Bernhard Russi, the current chairman of the FIS Apline Committee and former downhill Olympic champion from Switzerland, the men’s downhill course will run a length of 2,648 meters with a vertical of 825 meters.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]
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