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  • IOC Chief Salutes Asian Dynamism, PyeongChang Olympic Surplus


    (ATR) PyeongChang 2018 organizers say there is a “multi-million dollar” surplus from hosting the Winter Olympics.

    PyeongChang 2018's closing ceremony (ATR)
    IOC President Thomas Bach mentioned the surplus at his closing press conference at the PyeongChang 2018 debrief in Beijing. The debrief will last five days and brings together organizers from the next Olympics, IOC counterparts and staff from the just-completed Games.

    “The debriefing showed that the reform of the Olympic Agenda 2020 now has really come to fruition,” Bach said. 

    "The most obvious is the announcement of PyeongChang 2018 that they had a multi-million dollar surplus. We have turned the page with regard to the organization of the Olympics," Bach said.

    Any announced surplus will relate to the costs of the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee. The committee’s finances are funded by an IOC contribution, ticket sales, and sponsorship revenue. Any government funds for infrastructure projects related to the Games are not including in the organizing committee’s budget.

    PyeongChang 2018 President Lee Hee-Beom said at the end of the Games that he expected a balanced budget that could turn a slight profit. PyeongChang 2018’s budget for the Games was set at $2.4 billion. Estimates put the total cost of the 2018 Olympics between $10-13 billion.

    “We are pleased to share the many lessons learned from the recent Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” Lee said after day two of the debrief. “This transfer of knowledge is essential to future organisers, and we are confident that this debriefing will serve as a great learning opportunity for Beijing to host even more successful Games in 2022.”

    In addition to the surplus the IOC announced that it would be donating $150,000 to the PyeongChang region of South Korea. The region was hit by floods “earlier this month,” and left around 150 individuals homeless.

    “The storms hit a low-lying area in the city near the PyeongChang 2018 headquarters and the Olympic Plaza,” an IOC statement read. “In all, more than 50 houses were affected, leaving more than 70 families homeless.”

    The first two days of meetings in Beijing featured open meetings which the IOC titled “strategic learning” at the executive level.June 6-8 will comprise of “operational learning” days, which PyeongChang organizers can share “in-depth and technical discussions on various elements of Games delivery,” according to the IOC.

    Bach speaking at the debrief (IOC)
    The IOC says around 600 people were present during the first two days of the debrief. The IOC sent over 50 people, while PyeongChang 2018 sent more than 60. The rest were International Paralympic Committee representatives, TOP sponsors, sport federations, broadcasters, Beijing 2022 personnel, and representatives from the cities interested in hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics.

    Bach appealed to the future bidders saying he hoped cities could take a cue from the “Asian dynamism” created by three successive Olympics. PyeongChang is the first of the three Games on the continent followed by Tokyo and Beijing. Among the IOC's newest sponsors are Bridgestone, Toyota, and Alibaba, all Asian companies. 

    “As a European, I sometimes miss this Asian dynamism and faith in the future in my home continent. In Europe, it often seems that people look to the future with unease and hesitation. Bach said.

    “I hope the Europeans [are] coming back and learning from Asia. You have a good future only if you shape the future," Bach noted.”

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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