The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission visiting PyeongChang, South Korea this week started day three of their schedule back in the conference room to watch presentations and review five additional themes from the bid books.
On the agenda are discussions around finance, marketing, political and economic climate and culture, legal aspects, customs and immigration formalities.
Presenter Won-Ho Park, a professor at Seoul National University conveyed the message that South Korea provides a stable political and economic environment – more than sufficient to host the Olympic Games.
“Republic of Korea is a solid democracy and has been since the since the mid-1980’s,” he said.
The bid is supported both politically and financially by all three levels of government. Korea’s President has designated the Olympic Winter Games bid as the number one national agenda.
South Korea is also economically strong – Park exhibited that his country is ranked 15th in the world in GDP, is technologically advanced and is experiencing significant growth in its middle-class and overall consumption. This factors into PyeongChang’s goal to reach “new horizons” by offering the Olympics a rapidly expanding market for winter sports.
“Korea is truly an economic miracle by any measure.”
This, he says, will support preparation for the Games should they be awarded to PyeongChang in 2018.
Park was reluctant, however, to comment to journalists on how tensions with North Korea might factor into the stability.
Friday afternoon the IOC is scheduled to visit venues in the Gangneung Coastal Cluster – home to ice hockey, figure skating, curling, speed skating and an athletes’ village and media village. In the evening, the IOC and bid teams will join for an official dinner at the Alpensia Convention Centre that will also be attended by Korean dignitaries.