Pyeongchang renews Olympic resolve

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Pyeongchang renews Olympic resolve

Korea’s alpine city of Pyeongchang reaffirmed its resolve Tuesday to succeed in its third bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2018 as the one-year countdown begins for the announcement of the winning city.

Last month, the city, located about 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Seoul was selected as one of three final candidates by the International Olympic Committee to host the hibernal showpiece along with Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France.

“Now we have just one year, and we have to do our best to host the 2018 Winter Olympics,” Cho Yang-ho, chairman for Pyeongchang’s bidding committee, said in a ceremony marking the one-year countdown.

“I’ll spare no effort to prepare for the on-site visit by an IOC committee next year and let the IOC members know all about Pyeongchang.”

The IOC will announce the host city on July 6, 2011, in Durban, South Africa, after conducting on-site inspections between February and March.

The South Korean government expressed full support for the city’s aspirations.

“Winning the 2018 bid is high on the government agenda. President Lee Myung-bak has visited the resort county and promoted the bid in his meetings with foreign leaders,” Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo In-chon said. “Also, the National Assembly adopted a resolution on June 29 to support Pyeongchang’s attempt.”

Pyeongchang narrowly lost twice to Canada’s Vancouver and Russia’s Sochi in its previous Olympic bids.

Korea’s Olympic medalists, including figure skater Kim Yu-na, are leading the bidding campaign by giving advice on facilities, transportation and management skills based on their experiences as members of a special panel.

Pyeongchang has been highlighting its merits, including the location of all sports venues within a 30-minute drive.

According to a poll carried out in December of last year, more than 91 percent of South Koreans support Pyeongchang’s bid.

The candidate cities are required to submit candidate files, which contain answers to 234 questions on accommodations and transportation, to the IOC by January 2011.

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