(ATR) Around the Rings learns thenew governor of Gangwon Province is expected to take a low key role with the PyeongChang bid for the 2018 Olympics whilethe outgoing governor moves to an ambassadorial role for the bid.
Announced today as sole chairman of the bid is Yang Ho Cho.Previously he shared the chairman’s title with outgoing Gangwon Province governor Jin Sun Kim.
Kim leaves office at the end of the month after three terms, the limit allowed by law.
Around the Rings is told by sources within the bid that Kim’s successor, Gwang Jae Lee, elected earlier this month, wants to keep a low profile with the bid and does not want to serves as co-chair for the 2018 campaign. Lee takes office July 1.
ATR is told that Lee is in favor of keeping his predecessor in a role as an international ambassador, even though Governor Kim is a prominent member of the rival Grand National Party. Lee is a member of the Democratic Party, which despite gains in the June 2 election is still the main opposition party.
Kim has been a part of each of the three bids from PyeongChang and has developed relationships around the world that the bid team does not want to lose.
In email comments to Around the Rings, Governor Kim says the new governor for Gangwon Province will be a strong supporter for the bid.
"All the candidates for Governor’s office had declared winning the right to host the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang as their election pledge. As such, the PyeongChang bid does enjoy cross-partisan support," says Kim.
"I am confident that my successor will also support the bid with all his energy and the same-level of passion as I do. He has already made public his intention to do so," he says.
Lessons Learned Make PyeongChang Stronger, Says Kim
Kim tells ATR he has learned from the past PyeongChang bids.
"First of all, the Olympic Games should be made athletes-first and competition-centered. To realizethis, it is critically important to create the most appropriate conditions for the athletes as well as the Olympic Family during the Games. I have experienced and learned this first-hand.
"With this in mind, for the past ten years, PyeongChang has made and is still making good investments in this regard. And now we consider that PyeongChang offers the Olympic Movement with the most compact Games plan and the most ideal conditions in Winter Olympics history.
"Second, through the Olympics, together we work hard to advance the Olympic Movement and realize Olympism and Olympic values. In this sense, the Olympics shouldn’t rely too much on well-developed wintersports areas.
"I sincerely believe that the Olympic Movement should move further global, thereby awakening sports potentials of every region around the world and making a meaningful contribution to global causes including world peace. This is what the Olympic Movement is all about," says Governor Kim.
Officially, no announcement has been made about Kim’s future with the bid.
Chairman Cho, who is also chairman of Korean Airlines, met with Governor-elect Lee shortly after the election to discuss the bid and Lee’s role.
All of this assumes that PyeongChang will be named as a candidate city by the IOC Executive Board June 22, eligible to compete as a finalist for the IOC vote in July 2011.
Munich, Germany and Annecy, France are the other two cities in the race.
Although nothing is certain, all three are expected to be named candidate cities for the final stage of the campaign.
Written by Ed Hula.
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