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IOC team gets down to business on day three in PyeongChang

Panel of experts delivers presentations about PyeongChang’s 2018 bid


PYEONGCHANG, Gangwon Province -- A panel of the International Olympic Committee officially began its schedule in PyeongChang on Wednesday, attending a series of presentations on the city’s proposals for the Winter Olympics.

The 14-member panel, led by Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden, arrived here Monday for an on-site inspection to evaluate PyeongChang’s bid for the 2018 Winter Games.

On day three of their visit, the delegates appeared at the Alpensia Convention Center just past 8:30 a.m., greeted by Cho Yang-ho, the head of PyeongChang 2018 bid committee, Park Yong-sung, chairman of the Korean Olympic Committee and other local officials as they entered a meeting room.

After a brief photo session, the IOC panel held a marathon meeting behind closed-doors all day Wednesday in the sleek room, decorated with soft blue LCD lights and draped in the logos of the bid committee, “New Horizons.”

During the meeting, a panel of local experts delivered a series of presentations on eight different topics from PyeonChang’s bid dossier, including its vision, concept, venues, Olympic villages, accommodation, transportation and environment.

The speakers included four-time Olympian Kang Kang-bae, who is also the vice president of International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, and former short-track speed skater Kim So-hee, the 1994 Olympic gold-medalist.

Detailed proposals for an athlete-focused Winter Games and PyeongChang’s efficient multi-transport network were presented.

With the slogan “New Horizons,” PyeongChang’s vision to extend winter sports across Asia by bringing the 2018 Games here was also highlighted during Wednesday’s hours-long meeting, according to the bid committee.

Mike Lee, a special advisor to PyeongChang’s 2018 bid, said the concept of New Horizon, is the “corner stone” of PyeongChang’s bid.

Lee, an English PR expert, is a former head of communications for London’s successful 2012 bid and Rio’s 2016 bid. Most recently he was also involved in Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup bid.

“These Olympic races are quite complex and (have) got many different dimensions. But the key thing is to make your own case, develop what your story line is, and that’s what I did for London, Rio and Qatar,” he told The Korea Herald.

And for PyeongChang the key is to herald its concept of “New Horizons,” he added.

“I think PyeongChang ran a very good campaign in 2014, only just failed to win. So this time it is just a question of going the extra mile all the way to win.”

On Wednesday the local bid committee, in adherence to the IOC regulations, did not disclose the details of the presentation. The IOC team was also not allowed to speak with the media.

On Thursday, the IOC commission will start its on-the-ground inspection with visits to the Nordic, cross country, biathlon and ski jump venues at Alpensia Resort and snowboard and freestyle ski venues at Bokwang Phoenix Park.

PyeongChang, a popular winter sports resort city in Gangwon Province, is competing against Munich of Germany and the French town of Annecy for the 2018 Winter Games.

The IOC evaluation commission visited Annecy last week, and will be here in PyeongChang until Sunday. After a week-long break they will head to Munich to wrap up their tours of the three bidding cities. 

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@herladm.com)
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