POSTED: February 18th 2011

Han Seung-soo: This is the future . . . for PyeongChang, third time around

Former Prime Minister Han / lake images
Former Prime Minister Han / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE in Gangneung / Sports Features Communications

GANGNEUNG, S Korea, Feb 18: The Man Who Should Know says Olympic leaders should award PyeongChang the 2018 Winter Olympic Games not because of its persistence – this is its third bid – but because it represents the future.

Former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo was president of the bid committee whose 2014 efforts failed in the end against the late political onslaught from Russian leader Vladimir Putin on behalf of Sochi.

Now Han believes that this is the perfect moment for PyeongChang whose fate will be decided when the IOC votes in Durban on July 6. The IOC’s evalution commission is currently assessing the Korean bid after visiting Annecy last week and going on to Munich at the start of next month.

Han told “The difference is in the support from all sectors of Korean society. We had maybe maybe 90pc national support before but now the public approval for the bid is total. Also, now the bid has full government support whereas we had some problems before.

“The other big difference is that there is so much more spending power in the Asian region now than even just four years ago – with the rise of China and the progress of our own economy. The potential in Asian for winter sports is enormous and the Olympic movement should recognise it.

“This is the future.”

Economic indicators

The economic extent of that future had been spelled out earlier by Park Won-ho, a professor in political science at Seoul national university.

He said all economic indicators suggested that by 2030 Asia would account for 43pc of worldwide consumption – usurping the United States and Europe’s as the planet’s greatest devourer of resources and produce.

Park described South Korea as a stable democracy and 15th in the world in terms of gdp and one of the world’s most digitally-advanced countries.

“The way Korea hosted the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and co-hosted the 2002 World Cup proved how it responds to all its responsibilities,” he added.

Keywords · Han Seung-soo · PyeongChang · IOC · evaluation commission · 2018 Winter Olympics

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