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President Roh Voices Optimism On Pyeongchang's Olympic Bid


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Roh voices optimism on PyeongChang's Olympic bid

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Date: July 01, 2007

President Roh Moo-hyun on Saturday (June 30) expressed strong confidence in the bid of the Korean mountain resort city of PyeongChang's to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Roh arrived in Seattle on Saturday on his way to Guatemala, the venue of this year's general conference of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). IOC members will select the host city of the 2014 Winter Games in a secret vote at their July 4 session. Three cities are contending: PyeongChang, Salzburg of Austria and Sochi of Russia.

Roh will fly to Guatemala City on Sunday. "I head for Guatemala tomorrow. I feel a bit burdened but I believe PyeongChang will emerge victorious in the end," Roh said while meeting Korean residents of Seattle and nearby areas at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Seattle.

"You don't have to worry about PyeongChang's Olympic bid," said the president, expressing strong determination to help PyeongChang.

Roh then thanked the entire Korean people for their wholehearted efforts in supporting PyeongCheong.

"The whole nation has made great efforts thus far. PyeongChang and other aspiring Korean venues of the winter games have their own unique merits. PyeongChang is backed by the entire nation.

Even if my last-minute lobbying (in Guatemala) is unsatisfactory, the outcome will be good thanks to support from the whole nation," said the president.

According to wire reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer will also travel to Guatemala next week to back the Olympic bids of Sochi and Salzburg, respectively. The presence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the IOC session in Singapore in 2005 was seen as a key factor in London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Games.

At the opening of the IOC meeting on July 4, Roh will deliver a speech declaring the Korean government's determination to give its full support to PyeongChang.

Roh has engaged in brisk diplomatic activities over the past year to enlist support for PyeongChang's bid, stressing that having the world's only divided country host the Winter Games would further Olympic ideals and contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

"Roh will try to maximize PyeongChang's chances of winning the Olympic bid by attending the opening ceremony of the IOC meeting, PyeongChang's presentation session and various other events. He will clearly express the Seoul government's willingness to back PyeongChang and demonstrate Korean people's strong enthusiasm for the Olympics," said a presidential office official.

Meanwhile, Byeon Yang-kyoon, chief national policy secretary to Roh, disclosed that the Seoul government has operated a secret high-level task force consisting of him, the foreign minister, the culture minister and leaders of PyeongChang's bid committee since last August.

"Only five countries worldwide have so far hosted both summer and winter Olympic games. The winter games are an event for the advanced countries and European nations have exclusively hosted the winter Olympics, with the exception of Japan. Even Russia has never hosted the winter games," Byeon told reporters.

"In that sense, the added value, wealth and economic value created by the winter Olympics are enormous. They are not merely a sports event. Their economic benefits and positive ripple effects on the brand of overall Korean products are very tremendous."

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The Guardian Unlimited has made its article about South Korean president, Roh Moo-hyun, about a possible PyeongChang win.

Link: The Guardian Unlimited: PyeongChang Win Would Add To Korean Peace, Roh Says

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Thanks for finding that article, Guardian. One must never underestimate the power of sport to change the world and its values. The 1988 Seoul Olympics was greatly responsible for ending dictatorship and bringing democracy to South Korea in 1987, which brought unprecedented freedom rights to 40 million South Koreans at the time. Now, South Korea is a permanent member of the free community.

With PyeongChang located in Gangwon Province which extends into North Korea, who knows what a PyeongChang Olympics could do to peace in Asia. What happens in North Korea directly affects China, Japan and Russia, not to mention the two Koreas themselves. Unlike 1988, the North now has friendly relations with the South (despite what the media says about North Korean international relations, the South is a genuine friend of the North), and with the North having pledged its support of the PyeongChang bid, not only will there be no disruption to a PyeongChang Games, but such a Games could also reap great benefits for international peace. And that is why, along with the development of winter sports in Asia, I believe a PyeongChang bid has the most to offer to the Olympic Movement and its ideals.

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From the article I have already posted in the General 2014 Olympic Winter Games Bid Section.

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Latest article, about 14 hours ago and compliments of the Korea Times, about PyeongChang and the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Link: The Korea Times: PyeongChang Victory Will Wake Up Asia's Winter Sports Tiger

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It's the old 'casting around for scapegoats' scenario.How hard it is for the losing city to concede that it it just might have been beaten by a better bid!

I sympathize with Korea's pain.And in many respects,Pyeongchang's situation reminds me a lot of Paris 2012.Both cities had bid before,both were considered the most technically promising and both entered the election as favourites (even more clear cut in Paris' case perhaps).And both were pipped at the post by a rival bid (and by exactly the same narrow margin of votes)that was long on legacy if short on technical preparedness and whose final presentation was more adept at tugging at the IOC's heartstrings.

I was struck by this final paragraph from the article and how much its bitter sentiments mirrored some of the Paris bidders' reactions to London after the 2012 election:

"Although Pyeongchang lost due to insufficient sports diplomacy, the nation was united in rooting for the city and was extolled as the best by the IOC and the international press. Pyeongchang campaigned to win its bid in a fair and transparent way, unlike Sochi, which was warned by the IOC about dishonest strategies like slandering its rivals. It is wrong to blame President Roh for everything that goes wrong just because you don't approve him. "

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"How hard is it for the losing city to 'concede' that it just might have been beaten by a 'better' bid!"

But they did concede that they were beaten by a 'better' bid. A better political bid, that is!

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"How hard is it for the losing city to 'concede' that it just might have been beaten by a 'better' bid!"

But they did concede that they were beaten by a 'better' bid. A better political bid, that is!

But over half the IOC may just have seen it as a better bid all round!

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Harsh to blame it on one man, but then English football fans do it with referees all the time, so I see some sort of twisted logic.

Mainad is right to draw comparisons between this result and 2012. The question now should be whether Pyeongchang will buck the Parisian trend and try again for 2018. They certainly have the geographical scope to do so, given that it wasn't another city in their continent winning.

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Harsh to blame it on one man, but then English football fans do it with referees all the time, so I see some sort of twisted logic.

Mainad is right to draw comparisons between this result and 2012. The question now should be whether Pyeongchang will buck the Parisian trend and try again for 2018. They certainly have the geographical scope to do so, given that it wasn't another city in their continent winning.

Why not? Take a look at my city's Olympic bid history. Took a stab for the 1964 Winter Olympics: got slammed to the gutter with NO VOTES! Tried again for the 1968 Winter Olympics: nearly took Grenoble by surprise by finishing a convincing second place. What a difference 4 years is in this case. Tried again via the town of BANFF for the 1972 Winter Olympics: that didn't go well because of one issue from the bid that now taking the world by storm -> the ENVIRONMENT.

Tried "one more time" in 1979 toward the 1981 IOC vote for the 1988 Winter Olympics: finally a SUCCESS, after its FOURTH try.

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There shouldn't be blamed placed on President Roh at all. He, along with with Bush, have the lowest approval ratings of the developed world. It's no surprise that Pyeongchang didn't want to thrust him with "captain-hood" like Sochi did for Putin. Undoubtedly, Roh tried hard lobbying, but he simply does not have political power to sway votes.

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Why not? Take a look at my city's Olympic bid history. Took a stab for the 1964 Winter Olympics: got slammed to the gutter with NO VOTES!

According to Gamesbids' Past Elections History,Calgary actually received 9 votes in the 1964 election.It was Lahti,Finland that drew the blank!

Innsbruck, Austria - 49

Calgary, Canada - 9

Lahti, Finland - 0

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According to Gamesbids' Past Elections History,Calgary actually received 9 votes in the 1964 election.It was Lahti,Finland that drew the blank!

Innsbruck, Austria - 49

Calgary, Canada - 9

Lahti, Finland - 0

Well, like what are the chances that Calgary was going to win that vote on its first try? Practically nil. This is especially so, when the IOC culture at the time suggested that "only the USA and Europe could only hold the Winter Olympics ever." Until Calgary had finally broke that ice in 1981, only Sapporo broke the same ice, by becoming the first Asian Winter Olympics host city.

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