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Sports journalists hold annual forum in Seoul

More than 200 journalists from around the world gathered in Seoul Tuesday for the first day of an annual meeting of international sports reporters.

The International Sports Press Association, or AIPS, is holding the 74th annual congress at the COEX convention center in central Seoul from Tuesday until Friday.

The Korea Sports Press Union, which is organizing the five-day meeting, said so far more than 260 delegates from 126 countries have registered for the meeting. Open forums on a wide range of issues, including the impact of the new media on sports journalism, and illegal betting in sports will be held during the congress.

“Our profession is constantly changing and evolving and we must keep up with technology as well as with issues which can kill sports and therefore our jobs,” said AIPS president Gianni Merlo.
Olympic champion Kim Yu-na, shown here practicing in Seoul on Tuesday, is an honorary ambassador for PyeongChang’s Olympic bid. (Yonhap News)
Olympic champion Kim Yu-na, shown here practicing in Seoul on Tuesday, is an honorary ambassador for PyeongChang’s Olympic bid. (Yonhap News)

Kwon Oh-sang, the president of the KSPU, noted that so far AIPS congress has been mainly held in European nations, but Korea finally has become the host nation this year.

“This congress will be a good for sports journalists from all over the world to meet and experience Asia,” he said.

On Tuesday, Culture Minister Choung Byoung-gug hosted a welcome reception for participants. Olympic figure skating gold medalist Kim Yu-na paid a surprise visit at the opening ceremony, giving her support to PyeongChang’s 2018 Olympic bid.

All three candidate cities bidding to host the 2018 Winter Olympics have been invited to present their bids during the congress. Officials from PyeongChang, Annecy and Munich are going to deliver presentations to the participants on Wednesday. It will be the first time the three candidate cities face the journalist after the on-site inspection by the International Olympic Committee in February.

Representatives of world’s sports governing bodies, including FIFA and the IOC, are also attending the meeting. Organizing committees for the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games are also here to pitch their the upcoming events.

On Wednesday, the three 2018 Winter Olympics candidate cities are scheduled to deliver a 15-minute presentation at the convention center. And the next day, the London 2012 organizing committee is going to pitch their proposals, followed by the Daegu organizing committee. The 2014 Sochi Winter Games organizer is also going to deliver a presentation on Friday. On the final day, the participants are schedule to visit PyeongChang, in Gangwon Province, to check some of its proposed venues for the 2018 Games.

By Oh Kyu-wook (