South Korea To Choose 2032 Olympic Bid City Monday Before Meeting With IOC

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) is set to meet Monday to elect a South Korean candidate for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games host city bid.

The Olympic Winter Games opened in PyeongChang, South Korea one year ago (IOC Photo)

By secret ballot at the organization’s general assembly, members will choose from between Capital Seoul or the second most populated city in South Korea, the southern port city of Busan.  Both cities submitted applications to bid for the event.

KSOC officials will then meet with International Olympic Committee (IOC) representatives at its Lausanne headquarters next Friday (February 15) to discuss the future sport cooperation between North and South Korea that could include a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.  The tripartite working meeting will also include representatives from North Korea and the delegations will be comprised of government and sports officials.

The two Koreas agreed to submit an official letter of intent to the IOC.

Seoul hosted Korea’s only Summer Games in 1988, an event that was considered transformational for the nation, and one year ago the Olympic Winter Games opened in the resort town of PyeongChang just 125 km east of the Capital.

A report released in December estimated that Seoul’s portion of a possible joint bid with North Korea Capital Pyongyang could be USD $3.44 billion (3.9 trillion won).

In 2002 Busan hosted both the Asian Games and FIFA World Cup matches.

The KSOC inspected both cites during visits between January 23 to 25.

IOC President Thomas Bach credits his organization for being a catalyst to renewed relations between the two nations on the peninsula.  A unified Korean team marched into the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony, and a combined Women’s ice hockey team competed.

“We have seen that the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 were opening the doors for political talks and since then different summits have been taking place,” Bach said.

“The two leaders from South Korea President Moon and from North Korea Chairman Kim have asked us to continue to support their talks of rapprochement more through actions in sport and this is what we are doing.

“So just in a couple of days we will meet the two Governments and the two National Olympic Committees to see how the IOC can contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.”

Bach has said that he strongly supports a joint bid between the two nations.  Currently, the Olympic Charter stipulates that a bid can only be presented from a single nation.

Seoul’s Share Of Proposed Joint-Korean 2032 Olympics Estimated At $3.44 Billion

The 2032 edition became the next available Summer Games to host after both Paris and Los Angeles were awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympics with an unprecedented double allocation in 2017.

As many as eight other cities and countries have expressed interest in bidding for the 2032 Games including Jakarta in Indonesia, Shanghai in China, Brisbane in Australia, Buenos Aires in Argentina, as well as India, Germany, Russia and Egypt.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil