Today: Last Update:

  • Korean Bid Leader Keeps Sport Profile


    “As an airline CEO, I know what service is," says Yang Ho Cho. (ATR)
    (ATR) Yang Ho Cho led the successful bid for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang. Now he says he wants to be a leading advocate for the globalization of South Korea sport.

    “The development of Korean sports environment is needed and a long term project promoting young athletes who can play an active part in international sports is mandatory,” says Cho in a statement to Around the Rings.

    “Training coaches, journalists specialized in sports, and cooperation with international sports organization such as IOC is a very important aspect in developing Korea’s sports environment,” he adds.

    Since leading the PyeongChang bid, Cho has returned to his full-time duties as chairman of Hanjin Group, the conglomerate of businesses that includes Korean Air.
    Cho in between Korean president Myung Bak Lee and reigning Olympic figure skating champion Yu Na Kim at PyeongChang's winning moment last year in Durban, South Africa. (Getty Images)

    Last month, under Cho’s direction, the airline declared its sponsorship of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Korean Air will finance construction of the marina needed for sailing and a hotel as part of its sponsorship, as well as provide airline tickets to every team from Asia.

    Presumably the airline would be in line to be a sponsor of the 2018 Games, as it was for the Olympic bid. The signing of domestic sponsors for those Games should begin within the year.

    Cho now serves as a vice chair of the Korean Sports Council, allowing Cho to help build the team that will compete at those Games.

    Cho was on hand to welcome IOC members in Daegu last August at a reception on the sidelines of the IAAF Athletics World Championship. He is believed to be trying to schedule a trip to Moscow this week to observe the Association of National Olympic Committees assembly in Moscow.

    Cho’s sport resume also includes the 2011 Peace and Sport table tennis tournament that produced a unified Korean team in the sport for the first time in 20 years.
    Cho and the president of the 2014 Asian Games flank Olympic Council of Asia president Sheikh Ahmad at the Korean Air sponsorship launch. (IAGOC)

    Korean Air sponsors a number of Korean athletes, such as Yu Na Kim and Tae Hwan Park. The airline also sponsors teams in volleyball, table tennis and speed skating.

    Cho tells ATR that his experience in the airline business can translate into positives for Korea’s sport image.

    “As an airline CEO, I know what service is. As a flexible mind is important in order to provide touching service to our customers, I will prepare a very kind reception to the sports related persons so that they can receive a profound impression of PyeongChang,” he says.

    Written and reported by Ed Hula

    For general comments or questions, click here

    20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only.