|International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Seoul City Mayor Park Won-soon. Yonhap|
The honorary citizenship was awarded Thursday at Seoul City Hall by the city’s Mayor Park Won-soon who invited Bach for the awarding ceremony.
“I sincerely thank IOC President Thomas Bach for his deep interest in peace on the peninsula and for his devotion to make us feel that we were all united during the PyeongChang Olymics,” Park said while honoring him as an honorary citizen of Seoul.
“The Olympics truly became the peace Olympics,” Park added.
During the Olympics, the women’s ice hockey team competed wearing the Korean Unification Flag on their chest, a scene that was largely seen as a breakthrough in a geopolitical standoff on the divided peninsula surrounding the North’s nuclear programs.
Bach is also a recipient of the country’s highest sporting honor Cheongryong (blue dragon) award for his role in helping make the international event a success. The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, which ended on Feb. 25, were widely praised as a successful games despite initial worries of regional tension between the two Koreas.
By Bak Se-hwan (firstname.lastname@example.org)