South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na left Sunday for Lausanne, Switzerland, to brief the International Olympic Committee on her country’s bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in the eastern resort city of PyeongChang.
Speaking to reporters at Incheon International Airport, South Korea’s main gateway located west of Seoul, the reigning Olympic gold medalist and 2009 world champion said she aimed to present all of PyeongChang’s advantages at the IOC Technical Briefing on Wednesday.
“PyeongChang’s key advantage is that all of its stadiums are located close to each other, so athletes don’t have to waste time moving from one place to another,” Kim said. “I also believe that PyeongChang’s hosting of the Winter Olympics would have great significance as the Games haven’t come to Asia for a long time.
“Above all, another big advantage for PyeongChang is that its national support base is greater than that of any other candidate city.”
PyeongChang, located about 180 kilometers east of Seoul, is running against Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France. The winner is scheduled to be announced after a vote during the IOC General Assembly in Durban, South Africa, on July 6.
Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan will head the country’s delegation to the meeting in Lausanne later this week, according to the foreign ministry. He will accompanied by top officials from some of the country’s largest athletic organizations.
The briefing will take place about a week after PyeongChang received a largely positive assessment in a report published by the IOC’s Evaluation Commission.
PyeongChang came up short in its two previous bids to host the Winter Games, losing to Vancouver, Canada, for the 2010 Winter Olympics and then to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Games.