Secretary General Jai Ryong Jang proudly displays the good luck message from PyeongChang 2018 goodwill ambassador Kim Yu-Na
‘PyeongChang Fighting’ for the third time
02 Apr 2010
Seoul, Korea: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. PyeongChang is now on its third try, after missing out on the last two Winter Olympic Games to Vancouver in 2010 and to Sochi in 2014. Far from deterred by this double setback, the Koreans are back in the bidding business and face a double Euro challenge from Annecy, France, and Munich, Germany, for the 2018 Games.
The OCA paid a visit to the PyeongChang 2018 Applicant City office in downtown Seoul on Friday afternoon, and asked Secretary General Jai Ryong Jang why they were going through with the bid process all over again.
“Because we are convinced that this is a good thing for PyeongChang and for the Olympic movement,” replied Ambassador Jang. “The Korean national government and the local government plan to develop Gangwon Province to make it a sports and tourism destination for Koreans and for Asians living nearby. The 2018 Olympic Winter Games would be the catalyst to realise this national development plan for the region.”
Ambassador Jang said that 1 billion people lived within a two-hour flight of PyeongChang and that 3 billion lived within a five-hour flight, so Korea's 2018 candidate city was ideally placed to become a top-class winter sports hub for a growing market in East Asia and beyond.
Due to their previous bids and pledges to the IOC, seven new venues out of the 13 necessary to stage the Winter Olympics have already been built, with the Alpensia Cluster alone costing US$1.4 billion.
Vancouver Winter Olympics figure skating gold medallist Kim Yu-Na is the sole goodwill ambassador for the 2018 bid at the moment, and her signed photo in the office includes the encouraging slogan, “PyeongChang Fighting!” Kim could be joined soon by other members of the successful Korean team in Vancouver, where they won a total of six gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
“We think this is a very important factor for our bid because it shows the passion for winter sports in Korea,” added Ambassador Jang. “In the past we did fairly well at short track but this time we also won gold medals in speed skating and figure skating. Also we have more athletes participating in ski sports, so this shows that Korea is developing as a strong winter sports country.
“These results were realised due to public support for the development of winter sports and to government support for the athletes. All this shows Korea is determined and prepared to host the Olympic Winter Games.”