PyeongChang Gets into Position for 2018 Olympic Winter Games Bid
A legacy of PyeongChang’s bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the 2008 “Dream Program” of Korea’s Gangwon province was held last week. The fifth annual installment of this sports and cultural program involved 123 participants from 31 countries who were invited because they live where there is no snowfall and no opportunity to participate in winter sports.
Young athletes ranging in age from 12 to 18 participated in various skiing and skating disciplines and were treated to world class facilities and equipment.
The efforts the Korean province show that the PyeongChang Olympic bid committee has kept promises that exemplify the Olympic spirit. The “Dream Program” is a worthwhile program and a model for other countries that wish to get involved in the Olympic movement.
The event also solidified PyeongChang’s intentions to mount an aggressive third consecutive bid to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2018; the competition will officially open in 2009.
A 12-year old Dream Program figure skating participant from Malaysia, Syaza Nazihan Suimi told GamesBids.com “[I will tell people at home that]…I hope the 2018 Olympics will be held in PyeongChang. I will miss my fun new friends here and learning about new cultures.”
Banners around the event venues and various speakers at the program’s farewell dinner on Sunday echoed the sentiments for a future bid. The race for 2018 is on.
Despite a narrow loss to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Games only seven months ago, PyeongChang continues to build many venues that were promised for the event. Alpensia, a new world-class ski resort that will contain venues for most of the sliding events, is over 60% complete and an IBU World Cup test event is already being held at the biathlon stadium this week – a first for Asia. The opening dinner for that event alluded to PyeongChang’s aspirations for 2018.
A ski jump tower is still under construction but has been raised to its full height and has already become an iconic structure in PyeongChang, giving it a feel of a Winter Olympic town. Below it lies the early construction phase of what would be the Olympic Stadium.
A five-star luxury hotel at the resort will be ready later this year – and it is the planned accommodation for the Olympic family should the Games come to town. A 2018 evaluation commission will be able to experience it first hand.
“Seeing is believing” seems to be the early motto for PyeongChang’s third try to win the Games.
“We are not other cities who attract Winter Games with less preparation; we are ready. We will make the Games as perfect as possible,” the Governor of Gangwon Province Jin-sun Kim told GamesBids.com.
“I sincerely hope the IOC and IOC members will make an effort to realize the Olympic movement in its true spirit. The Olympics should be given to countries that are most prepared”.
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