PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) â The International Olympic Committee warned organizers in Pyeongchang on Thursday that they risk creating white elephants from 2018 Winter Games venues.
Completing a final full inspection visit before the Feb. 9 opening ceremony, an IOC panel predicted a successful Olympics but said “definitive legacy use for several venues is still outstanding.”
“The IOC has once again requested that final plans be presented as a priority,” the Olympic body said in a statement.
Olympic venues that lie underused after the games is a longstanding problem, and lately hurt the reputation of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The IOC voiced its concern in South Korea “despite legacies being identified in the bid and different options being presented over the past seven years.”
The statement after a three-day visit by the IOC’s coordination panel did not mention political tensions fueled by North Korea’s missile testing program. Olympic events will take place less than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the demilitarized zone between the Korean neighbors.
On a weekend visit to China, North Korea’s closest ally, IOC President Thomas Bach played down fears of disruption.
“We are watching the situation, but I think there is no reason for any immediate concern because the fact that the games are taking place there is appreciated by all the national Olympic committees and by the governments,” Bach said in Beijing.
Organizers in Pyeongchang remain upbeat that…