Gangwon Province Governor Lee Kwang-jae, a supporter of PyeongChang’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, was forced to step down as the region’s governor when the country’s supreme court upheld a six-month suspended jail sentence and a $100,000 fine for receiving illegal political funds.
Lee played a key role in the bid, meeting International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials after taking office in June.
Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of PyeongChang 2018, issued a statement saying, “the PyeongChang 2018 bid committee fully respects the due legal process and the decision made by the Supreme Court in relation to Governor Lee. We appreciate the support he has shown towards the bid up to now.
“Vice Governor Ki Chang Kang has reaffirmed the Province’s dedicated support for PyeongChang’s bid. We are grateful to the committed efforts of Gangwon Province to help bring the Winter Games to Korea for the first time and make them a wonderful success in 2018.
“As a matter of national priority the bid campaign is a team effort that is not dependant on one or two individuals, and we are all working together systematically. PyeongChang 2018 will proactively continue our bid activities under the leadership of the bid chairman and with the government’s strong backing. We now look forward to welcoming the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission to PyeongChang in February”.
PyeongChang is competing with Annecy and Munich for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and a host city will be selected in July.