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PyeongChang promises new markets for winter sports

PyeongChang has promised the Oceania National Olympic Committee that it will help expand winter sports in the region by hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics.

PyeongChang’s bid committee highlighted on Saturday at the general assembly of Oceania National Olympic Committee in New Caledonia that it would help boost winter sports in new markets, such as Oceania and Asia, and develop the Olympic movement.

Speaking at the meeting, PyeongChang’s bid CEO Cho Yang-ho underlined that PyeongChang’s games plan is designed to create an athlete-friendly Olympics through the most compact and efficient venue layout.

He also noted that Korea’s experience in hosting major sport events and growing passion for winter sports promise a successful Winter Games.

“We are committed to creating Asia’s first long-term and sustainable winter sport legacy that offers a world of ‘New Horizons’ for winter sports and the Olympic movement,” Cho said.

Despite its two previous failures, the Gangwon Province city is bidding to bring the Winter Games to Korea for the first time. Japan is the only Asian country to have hosted the winter extravaganza so far.

PyeongChang is competing against Munich and Annecy, hoping that the third time will prove to be the charm. On Saturday, delegations from Munich and Annecy were also at the meeting in New Caledonia presenting their bids. Each city had fifteen minutes to deliver their proposals to the ONOC members.

There are just 100 days to go until the International Olympic Committee decides the host for the 2018 Winter Games by a secret ballot in Durban, South Africa, on July 6.

As the countdown begins in earnest, the three bidders are now on a tight schedule making their final pitches to persuade the voters. They will continue their international tour next week by taking part in Sport Accord from April 3-8 in London, then in the IOC presentation summit in Lausanne in May.

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