Although PyeongChang South Korea has two failed Winter Olympic Games bids, the city feels it’s in a position to be “the best candidate” for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Gangwon Governor Kim Jin-sun told The Korea Times, “Gangwon Province has hosted the world championships of snowboarding and biathlon this year, and the World Women’s Curling Championship and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Alpine Skiing World Championships are next”.
PyeongChang’s neighbouring city Hoengseong held the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) snowboarding contest from January 14 to 24, and PyeongChang is now home to the nine-day biathlon championships organized by the International Biathlon Union (IBU). It will continue through February 22.
Also the curling and alpine ski competitions are being held in Gangneung and Jeongseon, PyeongChang’s satellite cities, from March 21 to 29 and February 18 to March 1.
Kim said, “by organizing these events PyeongChang and Gangwon Province can amply demonstrate to the world that they are capable of organizing World Championships-level events and eventually the Winter Olympics.
“It will hopefully play an important role in labelling PeyongChang and Gangwon Province as the winter sports Mecca of Asia”.
Although PyeongChang officially announced its third bid for the Winter Games two months after it dropped out of its second attempt in September 2007, The Korea Times reports the government and the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) have not yet approved the plan, although the governor expects to win approval next month.
Kim said, “thanks to the bid experience we know what the IOC wants. We will try our best to upgrade the infrastructure that Gangwon Province has”.
He said several officials of international sports bodies that visited the snowboard championships last month praised the state-of-the-art facilities and said, “there are enough perfect facilities to host the Winter Olympic Games right now”.