중앙데일리

Evaluators find faults, but offer a good review

Feb 20,2007
President Roh Moo-hyun, left, greets members of the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission on Saturday. [Joint Press Corps]
Korea is too limited in its winter sports abilities and Pyeongchang should improve its access to the giant slalom ski venue, but other than that, inspectors gave the city a good review for its bid to host the 2014 Olympic Games.
In a wrap-up press conference in Seoul Saturday, Chiharu Igaya, the lead evaluator, told some 50 journalists that the “tremendous enthusiasm of citizens in Gangwon province” is one of Pyeongchang’s strengths.
Among other positives, Mr. Igaya pointed to the quality of Pyeongchang’s bid file and the presentations its officials made last week. He also cited the proximity of the sports venues with one another.
The inspectors visited for four days to evaluate the site. They will turn in a report in June to the International Olympic Committee, which will announce the host city on July 5.
The top official from the International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission said Korea should be more well-rounded across all of the winter sports, referring to the country’s reliance on a few sports, such as short track speed skating and speed skating, for most of its Winter Olympics medals.
“In order to have a successful Winter Olympics, the host country should have a world standard level of performance,” Mr. Igaya said. “Korea is a bit weak in some sports.”
Mr. Igaya, who is also vice president of IOC, was here with the evaluation team four years ago when Pyeongchang was bidding for the 2010 Winter Games, but he would not compare the two bids.
When asked how North Korea’s apparent willingness to dismantle its nuclear program could help Pyeongchang’s chances, Mr. Igaya asked the audience to “please allow me not to get into the political problem.”
Next on the evaluators’ itinerary is Sochi, Russia, which will be examined from Feb. 20 to 23. Salzburg, Austria, will host the evaluators from March 14 to 17.


By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Writer [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]



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