Is PyeongChang Truly Finished?
Is PyeongChang Truly Finished?
  • Reporter Lee Jun-yong
  • 승인 2018.05.10 09:51
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▲Alpensia Sports Park after the Olympics / Incheonilbo
▲Alpensia Sports Park after the Olympics / Incheonilbo

The PyeongChang 2018 Olympics and Paralympics (PyeongChang 2018) ended on March 18, with the closing ceremony of the Paralympics. Despite all the worries and incidents before the event, PyeongChang 2018 turned out to be very successful, receiving compliments from all over the world. However, after the feast, there is always the aftermath of it to take care of.

For the Olympics, the central and local governments spent trillions of KRW for the event. With the money, arenas and other infrastructure were built. Now, with the event ended, the usage of them without neglecting or spoiling it is the problem.

Other than the newly built roads and tunnels, which is already being utilized as highways, there are thirteen Olympic facilities that hosted the competition that need to be taken care of. The Jeongseon Alpine Centre, is planned to be reverted to nature. The Olympic stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies were held, is being removed. The seven-story building was built as a temporary building from the start to meet the time and economic limitations. All building but one will be dismantled into a three-story building, which will be used as an Olympic memorial building. Gangwon province, is estimating five billion KRW to be used. Also, a park will be created in front of the memorial building, which will cost another 12 billion KRW. 65 billion KRW was used to build a stadium to host two opening and closing ceremonies and being disassembled with an additional fee of 17 billion KRW to become a memorial park.

Three arenas of the left eleven existed before the event and was only renovated for the Olympics. Thus, the Gangneung Curling Centre, Phoenix Snow Park, and Yongpyong Alpine Centre will return to their rightful owners and be managed by them. Two of the left arenas have designated management bodies to be taken care of. The Gangneung Ice Arena will be managed by Gangneung-si, and Kwandong Hockey Centre will be managed by the Catholic Kwandong University.

The Alpensia Biathlon Centre, Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre, and the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre will be managed by the Gangwon province Development Corporation (GDC), which is financed by Gangwon province. All the other arenas, the Olympic Sliding Centre, Gangneung Oval, and Gangneung Hockey Centre will be under the care of Gangwon province. According to Gangwon province, managing the six facilities is estimated to give it an annual deficit of five billion KRW. Of the six, the Biathlon Centre and Cross-Country Skiing Centre can be used during the summer as golf courses, and training camps for athletes in the winter. However, Gangwon province failed to come with a plan with the other four facilities.

Since the four facilities are for professionals, and will be used as their training center, Gangwon province requested financial support to the central government. Even though the central government acknowledges the problem, they are not coming to an agreement.

The government is skeptical about providing financial aid. It is impartial to aid a local government, and it can be left as a bad example for future global events. Now, Gangwon provice is trying to compromise between the government and GDC, but since regional elections are coming up, there will be no one left to compromise. If the three bodies cannot find an agreement at the second meeting on May 3, the problem will be brought to court.