The Gangneung Ice Arena was officially opened on December 14, 2016 ahead of the ISU Short Track World Cup event, where Australians including Pierre Boda and Deanna Lockett had a taste of where they could be competing in 2018.
The arena, which is the first of four ice venues to be completed in Gangwon Province, has been built especially for the Winter Games and will host all Figure Skating competitions in addition to Short Track.
Part of the Gangneung Coastal Cluster on the coast of the East Sea, the four-level venue took two and a half years to complete and holds two ice rinks with a maximum capacity of 12,000 people.
The venue will be neighbored by the soon to be completed Curling Centre, Hockey Centre and Oval, all located within 30 minutes of the Alpensia Sports Park, the central hub for all athletes.
In a statement on the IOC website, Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-Soon said the completion of the venue was a meaningful step for PyeongChang 2018.
“The venues will be the center of excitement during the Games,” he said.
“After PyeongChang 2018, they will be returned to the public and open doors for potential athletes and create new horizons for Gangneung residents.”
Chair of the PyeongChang 2018 Coordination Commission, the IOC’s Gunilla Lindberg congratulated everyone involved in the construction of the venue.
“I congratulate everyone involved and I also wish good fortune to the athletes that will grace the ice until the Games and beyond.”
The venue will see further testing when the ISU Four Continents event starts on February 15, where figure skaters Kailani Craine, Brendan Kerry and pair Harley Windor and Katia Alexandrovskaya, will experience the venue for the first time.