POSTED: January 27th 2011

PyeongChang bid leader Cho says loss of Lee will not affect 2018 bid effort

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/PYEONGCHANG, Jan 27: Bid leader Yang Ho Cho has assured that support for PyeongChang's 2018 Winter Olympics campaign remains as strong as ever despite Gangwon Province Governor Kwang Jae Lee having lost an appeal against election violations.

The 46-year-old Lee was appealing against a conviction for accepting illegal campaign donations dating several years back.

Lee, after the Supreme Court ruling, said:  “It’s really a disappointing ruling. I’m sorry for failing to protect Gangwon Province. I will make every effort to repay the debt owed to Gangwon citizens for the rest of my life.”

In another statement, bid chairman Cho said, “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.

"The PyeongChang 2018 bid is supported by essential political parties and 95pc of the population is behind the Games project. Domestic support is very strong and focused and there are no factions opposing the bid."

Vice-Governor Chang Kang Ki will step in and fill the place of Lee until a new governor is elected on or around April 27.

Gangwon Province has always backed the PyeongChang 2018 bid through the support given by former governor Jin-sun Kim who led the 2010 and 2014 bids. Kim completed three terms in office and is now serving in a high level post after havinjg been nominated as a bid ambassador by Korean President Myung-bak Lee. Kim is also serving the President as special presidential advisor for provincial administration.

Next appointment on the agenda for the PyeongChang bid is welcoming the IOC evaluation commission February 16-19 for the bid inspection.

PyeongChang is competing against Annecy and Munich in the winter Games bid campaign. The decision will be taken by the IOC in Durban in July.        

Keywords · PyeongChang 2018 · Olympic bidding · Gangwon Province · Kwang Jae Lee · Yang Ho Cho

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