By Duncan Mackay

Bokwang Phoenix Park will host snowboarding and freestyle skiing at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Bokwang Phoenix Park A dispute over where the snowboarding and freestyle skiing competitions will take place over Pyeongchang 2018 has been settled, it was revealed today.  

The events will be hosted, as planned, at the Bokwang Phoenix Park following a row over fees.

The Phoenix Park, owned by Bokwang Group, a former affiliate of the Samsung Group, had disagreed with Pyeongchang 2018 over how much they should pay to use the facility but a compromise was reached following an overnight meeting.

Snowboarding and freestyle skiing had been the only sports whose venues for Pyeongchang 2018 that had not been officially confirmed.

Pyeongchang 2018 officials had been so worried by the dispute that they had started searching for another venue in Gangwon Province. 

The settlement was announced, however, during a meeting chaired by South Korea's Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo, where he again promised full Government support for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which has been dogged recently by fears over the readiness of venues, a shortfall in sponsorship funding and lack of interest both at home and abroad.

"We [those involved in preparing the Olympics] have cleared up controversial issues over the hosting of the PyeongChang Olympics, and should put forth every effort to prepare for the event," Lee said at the meeting.

Bokwang Phoenix Park will be the venue for snowboarding and freestyle skiing during Pyeongchang 2018 after a dispute about fees was finally settled ©KTOBokwang Phoenix Park will be the venue for snowboarding and freestyle skiing during Pyeongchang 2018 after a dispute about fees was finally settled ©KTO

Lee took the opportunity at the meeting, which was also attended by South Korea's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Kim Jong-deok, Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-soon and Pyeongchang 2018 President Cho Yang-ho, to try to end speculation that events would be shared with Japan or North Korea.

"We - the Culture and Sports Ministry, Organising Committee and the Gangwon Province - confirmed that we all agreed to host the event only at the hosting city in Pyeongchang," Lee said following the meeting. 

The settlement of the venues will be a relief to the International Olympic Committee ahead of its Coordination Commission, chaired by Gunilla Lindberg, which is due to start its latest three-day inspection in Pyeongchang on Tuesday (March 17).

Bokwang Phoenix Park is one of the best known of Pyeongchang's proposed venues as the popular South Korean romantic television drama Autumn in My Heart is filmed there. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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