Gov’t backs efforts to win Winter Games

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Gov’t backs efforts to win Winter Games

South Korea’s government yesterday declared its full support for Pyeongchang’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, saying it is working on details to significantly expand sports and transportation infrastructure in the eastern resort city.

The declaration came after representatives from the prime minister’s office and 13 ministries and government agencies met in Seoul to discuss state-level measures to support Pyeongchang’s campaign, officials at the culture ministry said.

“Pyeongchang’s hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics is a national issue that would raise Korea’s national brand and status. The government will stage an all-out campaign to support Pyeongchang,” said Kim Dae-ki, vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, at the meeting.

Pyeongchang, located in the mountainous region of Gangwon Province about 180 kilometers east of Seoul, was named South Korea’s candidate city for the 2018 global showpiece in April.

The city is vying against Germany’s Munich and France’s Annecy. The three candidate cities submitted their official applications to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October.

Kim also called for clear and coherent strategies based on the Olympic spirit and close cooperation among the bidding committee, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) and the government. The South Korean city was edged out by Vancouver, Canada, in its bid for the 2010 Winter Games, and by Sochi, Russia, for 2014.

At the meeting, Pyeongchang’s bidding committee briefed the government officials on its strong points, including a concentration of stadiums and sports facilities with in a 30-minute driving radius. Yonhap
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