PyeongChang 2018 – Former IOC Member Exonerated, New Venue Opened

The Korea Times reports a Seoul High Court exonerated Roh Hoe-chan, a former lawmaker and now head of a minor opposition party, overturning a lower court ruling that convicted him over his public disclosure of what he learned from “illegal wiretapping” by the state spy agency. Roh reportedly revealed the names of prosecutors who allegedly had received bribes from Samsung Group that damaged the company’s reputation.

The scandal forced Roh, who has a broad network in the international sports field, to suspend his status as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The South Korean Government now hopes Roh will help PyeongChang’s bid for the 2018 Winter Games and recently began a move to reinstate his International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership.

The lower court sentenced Roh to a suspended six-month prison term, but the appellate court disagreed, saying his disclosure was “justifiable” in the broader context of the public interest and justice. The Korea Times reports prosecutors said that they will appeal.

Meanwhile, Alpensia, one of PyeongChang’s venues should it host the 2018 Winter Games, opened Friday. The new resort would be transformed into PyeongChang’s Winter Olympic Park. The centre is now also the main national Olympic-standard facility for other snow sports including ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country.

Alpensia has three high capacity chair lifts, two six-seaters and a quad, and can accommodate up to 3,000 people at any one time on the slopes.

The complex also includes an Intercontinental Hotel, several golf courses and an indoor water park.