By Nick Butler at the Lakai Sandpine Resort Hotel in Gangneung

Gunilla Lindberg speaking alongside Pyeongchang 2018 President Cho Yang-ho today ©Pyeongchang 2018International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission chair Gunilla Lindberg has admitted there have been problems with the late delivery of Pyeongchang 2018 venues, but claims they are now "satisfied" with progress.

Lindberg spoke after the conclusion of three days of inspections here this afternoon, during which Commission members discussed a broad range of Games-related issues with organisers.

"We had a venue tour and saw all the construction and the big progress," she said.  

"To host the Olympic Games is a mega project, and we have not had any Organising Committee which has not had difficulties.

"We have had some problems in late delivery of venues, have identified those together with President Cho [Yang-ho] and are now moving forward, and thank him for taking quick action.

"There is no time to lose but we are convinced all of the venues will be ready for the test events and for the Olympic Games.

"There is positive momentum which we feel needs to be continued."

IOC Coordination Commission members during their venue tour this week ©Pyeongchang 2018IOC Coordination Commission members during their venue tour this week
©Pyeongchang 2018

Organisers for the first South Korean Winter Games have faced various challenges in recent months, particularly in relation to venues, with calls for pre-existing ones to be used either elsewhere in the host nation or overseas in order to reduce expensive construction costs.

International Ski Federation President Gian-Franco Kasper has been among the most high-profile of IOC members expressing fears over whether facilities will be ready in time to hold test events, admitting to insidethegames this week the construction schedule remains "tight". 

Another problem has been the lack of confirmed sponsors, something which has put financial pressure on local and national Government authorities to cover costs, although this has been partially alleviated by the signing of Korean Air as an official partner here yesterday. 

Lindberg, also a member of the IOC Executive Board, cited this as a key development, adding "there is no doubt this will encourage other Korean business to get behind the Games".

She also highlighted a first meeting of a Pyeongchang 2018 Working Group, held last night between officials from the IOC, Organising Committee, different levels of Government and Kasper, in his role of Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations head

This was established to speed up the decision making process, Lindberg explained, something she believes is happening better already. 

Gunilla Lindberg and Cho Yang-ho spoke alongside other officials including IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi (second left) ©Pyeongchang 2018Gunilla Lindberg and Cho Yang-ho spoke alongside other officials including IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi (second left) ©Pyeongchang 2018

Preparing a delivery team, getting venues ready, finalising budgets and raising the profile of the Games were cited as key areas requiring full attention heading forward, as well as ensuring the hiring of experienced, international personnel to add expertise.

"This is a turning point for Pyeongchang 2018," said Cho, for whom this was the first Coordination Commission inspection since he replaced Kim Jin-sun at the helm last July.

"Based on the feedback that we have received over this past week, we will move forward aggressively and with momentum; and our main focus will now be on operations.

"By working together as a team, we will deliver successful Winter Games."

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