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  • Former Governor Appointed to Lead PyeongChang Olympics Organizing Committee


    Kim was a special ambassador to PyeongChang's 2018 bid (Getty)
    (ATR) Former Gangwon Province governor Jin Sun Kim is nominated to lead the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics organizing committee.

    South Korea's sports minister Choe Kwang-sik announced Tuesday that Kim, who led PyeongChang’s failed 2010 and 2014 Olympic bids, would be appointed to lead Games preparations subject to a vote of the organizing committee at its first full meeting next week.

    Kim, who held three terms as Gangwon Province governor until stepping down in June 2010, had served as a special ambassador to PyeongChang's 2018 bid.

    Moon Dong-hoo, vice chairman of the organizing committee for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, was today unveiled as the secretary general of PyeongChang 2018. Moon took a lead role in Korea's co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

    Commenting on the nomination of Kim, Choe told Yonhap News: “Special ambassador Kim has been more passionate than anyone from the planning stages of the Winter Olympics until the successful bid,”

    “He is the right person to realize PyeongChang’s dreams of opening up new horizons.

    "The organizing committee has to put in a lot of work right from the start and we felt Kim, a Gangwon native, was the one to do the job.”

    In recent weeks, Yang Ho Cho, chairman of the PyeongChang 2018 bid, had been tipped to head the committee, according to South Korean media reports. Korean Olympic Committee chief Y.S. Park was also a contender.

    But Korean president Myung Bak Lee has had the final say. The Korean government is taking a hands-on role delivering the 2018 Games. PyeongChang beat off competition from Annecy and Munich to secure the Games at the IOC vote in Durban in July.

    What role if any Cho will have on the new organizing committee is unclear. The 67-year-old, one of the most important businessmen in South Korea, led the third bid for PyeongChang from the outset more than two years ago.

    But sports minister Choe confirmed that Cho would take up "some sort of a role one way or another".

    The IOC requires Olympic hosts to form their organizing committees within five months of being chosen, putting the deadline in early December for PyeongChang.

    Choe added that organizing committee would include South Korea's IOC members as well as star athletes.

    The organizing committee is to be headquartered in PyeongChang, as requested by the IOC, with a smaller office in Seoul.

    Gunilla Lindberg, IOC member from Sweden, is chair of the IOC Coordination Commission that will oversee preparations for the first Winter Games for Korea.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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