Olympic bid committee confident of 2018 chancesWith experience on its side, the county of Pyeongchang, Gangwon, is confident about the International Olympic Committee’s first full evaluation of its bid to host the 2018 Winter Games.
The bid committee held a ceremony marking the submission of its application for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games yesterday in central Seoul. Having previously applied to host both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, this time Pyeongchang is in the running against Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France.
The committee must submit its application file and guarantee letters to the IOC by March 15. The applications will be fully evaluated by the IOC before official candidate cities are selected in late June. The finalist will be chosen in July 2011.
In attendance at the ceremony were the bid committee’s co-chairmen, Cho Yang-ho and Kim Jin-sun, who stated their confidence that Korea would be successful this time around.
“We have been working hard to keep the IOC’s promise [to let children from warm countries experience winter sports]. We have reviewed our past two bids and have worked to improve upon various areas,” said Cho. “With Korea’s solid results at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, our timing is great.”
“Popular athletes are an important part of the bid. Kim Yu-na was appointed honorary ambassador for the bid committee last year, and she’ll be directly involved in presentations and other public relations work,” said Kim. “And we’ll look for help from other Olympic gold medalists.”
According to a report by the committee, Pyeongchang’s latest bid has the support of 91.4 percent of the public nationally, and 93 percent of the Pyeongchang area. Kim stressed that popular backing is a driving force behind the bid and could be an important factor in its success.
“We’ve heard from various people how great it would have been for us to hold the Winter Games this year. Such comments reflect the public’s strong urge to see the Winter Games hosted in Pyeongchang,” said Kim. “The application is the first test. We know we’re representing the nation and the hope of the masses, and we’re fully prepared and confident about our chances.”
Among other things, Pyeongchang wants to emphasize convenience. Unlike some recent Winter Games, the Pyeongchang committee says all the Olympic venues will be within 30 minutes travel from the athletes’ village, which was not the case with some recent host cities.
Pyeongchang has hosted 55 international winter sporting events over the course of the past 13 years and the bid committee is confident that track record will score favorably with the IOC. The bid committee also continues to hold its annual Dream Program for youths from warm countries.
By Jason Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]