USSA chief executive Tiger Straw has predicted Pyeongchang 2018 will provide an economic boost to the region ©Pyeongchang 2018

United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) chief executive Tiger Shaw has predicted Pyeongchang will enjoy a similar economic boom after it has hosted the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to those experienced by American cities which have helped stage past editions of the event.

Shaw recently travelled to the South Korean resort to meet with officials from the Organising Committee, including Pyeongchang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom.

During the visit, co-operation between the USSA and Pyeongchang 2018 was high on the agenda, while Shaw was also given the opportunity to inspect preparations at a number of competition venues.

The USSA chief executive feels the Games will do wonders for Pyeongchang and the surrounding areas and will benefit the region in a similar way to Park City in the US.

The Utah Olympic Park in Park City hosted a number of events during the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, including bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, ski jumping and Nordic Combined.

Shaw also praised the progress being made at venues due to be used at Pyeongchang 2018, the first-edition of the Winter Games to ever be held in South Korea.

USSA chief executive Tiger Shaw met with officials from Pyeongchang 2018 during a visit to the South Korean resort ©Pyeongchang 2018
USSA chief executive Tiger Shaw met with officials from Pyeongchang 2018 during a visit to the South Korean resort ©Pyeongchang 2018

“The Olympic venues look great and it looks like preparations are going well,” he said.

“Pyeongchang will become a completely different place after the Games and feel tremendous economic development - like Vail or Park City in the US.

“I will come back to Korea early next year for the Women’s Alpine World Cup races where Lindsay Vonn will run. 

“And we have a Korean-American female snowboarder, Chloe Kim, who is aiming to compete at the 2018 Olympics.”

During the meeting, Pyeongchang 2018 President Lee, who took over from predecessor Cho Yang-ho in May said he hopes the Organising Committee and the USSA can be involved in strong collaboration ahead of the Games.

“I hope the USSA can help us in gathering international winter sports fans’ interest towards the Pyeongchang 2018 Games through next seasons’ Alpine World Cup which will be held in South Korea,” he said.

“The experience of the USSA will also be helpful in building our organisational expertise.”