Olympics 2008 News
South Korean presidents meets IOC team in Pyeongchang
Feb 15, 2011, 13:48 GMT
Seoul - South Korean President Lee Myung Bak lent support to Pyeongchang's bid to host the winter Olympics in 2018 by travelling to meet an International Olympic Committee (IOC) team Tuesday.
A presidential spokesman said Lee wanted to meet the IOC delegation in person to demonstrate the support of the government and the people of South Korea for the Games.
An IOC evaluation commission, led by Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg, is inspecting the venue, about 180 kilometres north-east of Seoul.
The Pyeongchang bid committee is campaigning with the slogan 'new horizons', and Lee said holding the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang would boost the popularity of winter sports across Asia.
Cho Yang Ho, head of the Pyeongchang bid committee, said in a statement: 'We believe a winter Games in Pyeongchang can offer the Olympic movement something unique and special - a new market for winter sports in Asia, home to 60 per cent of the world's population.
Seoul hosted the summer Olympics in 1988 but South Korea has never staged a winter Games, which have been held twice before in Asia - both times in Japan when Sapporo were hosts in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.
The IOC team will be examining winter sports venues in Pyeongchang and the nearby city of Gangneung and will receive reports on the bid committee's concept for the Games during its stay this week.
Pyeongchang, bidding for the third time, is up against Munich and French resort Annecy. The IOC evaluators were in Annecy last week, and will be heading to Munich following their stay in South Korea.
The IOC will select the host city in Durban, South Africa on July 6.
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