Korea Inc. gave cash, time and pressure

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Korea Inc. gave cash, time and pressure

Korea Inc. played a huge role in making Pyeongchang the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Just as Hyundai Group’s late honorary chairman Chung Ju-young played a big role in the successful hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics, Lee Kun-hee, board member of the International Olympic Committee and chairman of Samsung Electronics, and Cho Yang-ho, head of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics bid committee and chairman of Hanjin Group, led the way this time.

Overall, companies contributed 35 billion won ($32.8 million) to the organizing committee.

Hanjin, which owns the country’s No. 1 airline, Korean Air, provided a chartered flight for the organizing committee. Chung Eui-sun, Hyundai Motor vice chairman and president of the Asian Archery Federation, actively met with IOC members whenever there was an international archery tournament and pushed Pyeongchang’s application.

Park Yong-sung, chairman of the Korean Olympic Committee and chairman of Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, traveled around the world promoting Pyeongchang’s capabilities. He paid for some of his travels out of his own pocket.

Hanwha Group chairman and committee member Kim Seung-youn also aggressively promoted the bid when he travelled overseas. Hanwha also donated 600 million won to the cause.

Other conglomerates pitched in cash, including SK and Lotte (800 million won each) and GS (700 million won). KCC’s honorary chairman Chung Sang-young donated 1 billion won from his own pocket. Kangwon Land, a hotel & casino resort that is expected to benefit from the event, donated $1 billion.

KT, which sponsored the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA Korea-Japan World Cup, said it provided phone lines and wireless Internet service when IOC members visited Pyeonchang for inspections.

By Jung Seung-hyun [seungjung@joongang.co.kr]
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