Road To The Olympic Games

Alpine Skiing

Pyeongchang Olympic alpine test event gets green light

The alpine skiing test event for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics will go ahead as planned next month after workers toiled through the holidays on overnight shifts to complete construction on a key gondola.

International Ski Federation issues clearance for February World Cup races

The 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics alpine venue at Jeongseon has been given the go-ahead for a February test event featuring men's downhill and super-G races. (Michael Heimas/Getty Images)

The alpine skiing test event for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics will go ahead as planned next month after workers toiled through the holidays on overnight shifts to complete construction on a key gondola.

The International Ski Federation issued final clearance Wednesday, ending worries that the gondola would not be ready in time.

A men's World Cup downhill and super-G are scheduled for the South Korean resort of Jeongseon on Feb. 6-7.

"After checking the snow conditions on the race course and also the operational requirements in Jeongseon, I can confirm that planning and preparations meet the standards," FIS technical expert Gunter Hujara said in a statement.

Hujara rode the gondola for the first time Tuesday and appreciated the efforts of contractors.

"They worked through Christmas and through New Year at 24-hour shifts," Hujara told The Associated Press. "The gondola is ready. It works."

As recently as last month, FIS officials had suggested that the Jeongseon races might be cancelled — which would have been a big blow to Olympic preparations.

"We were able to overcome challenges through teamwork within POCOG and with our partners, and I appreciate the dedication of everyone," Pyeongchang Games organizing committee president Cho Yang-ho said.

Men's and women's Far East Cup races are scheduled for Jeongseon next week to test the course.

"The snow is excellent, very dense, we could run tomorrow," Hujara said. "It's all artificial snow with a little fresh snow. Temperatures were very low. ... So everything works for us right now."

Three training runs starting Feb. 3 are scheduled for the World Cup races but Hujara said there may only be two sessions, with men's circuit director Markus Waldner and the jury to have the final word.

Course designer Bernhard Russi is confident that the piste will get positive reviews.

"It will be surprisingly good, I know, because there is good natural terrain," he said. "We didn't have to do too much. It was more or less everything there."

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