Durban, South Africa – On the first full day that most International Olympic Committee (IOC) members are in Durban for the IOC Session and 2018 Olympic bid vote, many bid leaders are taking the rare and final opportunity to lobby for another vote or two.
PyeongChang’s bid team took the opportunity to showcase its star sport ambassador Olympic Champion figure skater Yuna Kim to the media. Kim arrived at the small Durban ice rink among other Korean Winter Games medalists and joined a group of young South African figure skaters on the ice as they practiced.
Kim, who is set to appear in Wednesday’s final presentation for PyeongChang, did not bring her skates to South Africa and used a pair she borrowed. That made a big difference as she hobbled onto the less-than-perfect ice – and initially needed support from the other skaters.
“These are not my skates, I’m not comfortable,” Kim later said – and was disappointed that she couldn’t put on a better show for the young athletes.
But they didn’t seem to mind as they diligently put on a show for her, listening to her valuable advice as she watched. There were hugs and tears from the skaters – and Kim signed some autographs.
“I really enjoyed skating with them, it’s nice to meet them here in South Africa,” she said.
She has been in Durban for several days now rehearsing with her team including the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
“Today we will be taking a break because we have been working so hard every day. Tomorrow morning we are going to practice again.”
PyeongChang’s presentation is set for 12:05 pm local time in Durban Wednesday.
GamesBids.com Producer Rob Livingstone is reporting from on-the-scene at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban