Thomas Bach, recently elected as the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will make his first visit to South Korea on Wednesday, officials here said.
The organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics said Bach will arrive in Seoul later in the day for a two-day visit. On Thursday, he will be briefed by PyeongChang officials on the east coast alpine town's preparations for the 2018 Winter Games and also give a special lecture to staff members of the organizing team, officials added.
Bach will also address the local press on Thursday and attend a luncheon hosted by Kim Jung-haeng, the president of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), PyeongChang officials said.
After paying a courtesy visit to President Park Geun-hye later Thursday, Bach will travel to Rome, officials added.
Bach will be accompanied by Christophe De Kepper, the director general of the IOC; Gilbert Felli, the IOC's executive director; and Gunilla Lindberg, the head of the IOC's Coordination Commission overseeing preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Bach, a German, succeeded Jacques Rogge as the IOC president at the 125th IOC Session in Argentina in September. He will first serve an eight-year term and is eligible to run for another four-year term.
The 59-year-old former fencer is the first former Olympic gold medalist to become the IOC head. At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Bach was a member of the gold medal-winning West German team in men's foil.
Previously, Bach had served as the head of the German Olympic Sports Confederation. He led Munich's bid to host the 2018 Winter Games, but PyeongChang beat the German candidate in an IOC vote held in July 2011 to become the first South Korean host of a Winter Olympics. (Yonhap News)