“We believe in the phrase third-time lucky”: Korean Sports Minister

Durban, South Africa – PyeongChang, South Korea has twice consecutively lost Olympic bids by just a few votes, but the team is feeling confident that this time will be different against Munich, Germany and Annecy France.

“We believe in the phrase third-time lucky,” said Korean Sports Minister Byoung Gug Cheong in Durban Monday.

He tied this luck in with other lucky connections between Durban and South Korea including the first time the country’s football team advanced to the second round of a FIFA World Cup on foreign soil – in 2010.

But lucky or not, the pressure is on PyeongChang more than ever. Widely considered as the bid to beat for 2018, the South Korean mountain destination is not taking anything for granted.

“We are never complacent and will put our best efforts until the very end,” bid chairman Yang Ho Cho promised.

When asked whether a fourth bid might come should this one fail, nervous laughter was heard from the delegation. Losing is not an option this team can easily deal with.

Ambassador Jin-Sun Kim, the former Governor of Gangwon Province who lead the previous two bids thinks the bid is now stronger than ever.

“Because we had laid the foundation in the past I am confident the third time around our dreams will be realized,” he said

PyeongChang Sport Ambassador and reigning Olympic Champion figure skater Yuna Kim has been under significant pressure on her own. While she’s can easily handle the demands of her figure skating performances – the Olympic bid world is new to her. She has become the focal point of this bid since actively joining the team in May and making her first presentation in Lausanne.

“This time I felt a little less nervous but I am still practicing harder, this is our last presentation and I’ll try to be perfect,” she told reporters and photographers who could more accurately be described as paparazzi as they continuously snapped pictures of the South Korean superstar.

The PyeongChang bid team is scheduled to present last after Munich and Annecy on Wednesday in Durban, and shortly after that they will learn their fate when the IOC members cast their votes.

GamesBids.com Producer Rob Livingstone is reporting from on-the-scene at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban