(ATR) In a rare meeting with reporters, suspended IOC member Kun Hee Lee of South Korea vows to help the bid to bring the Winter Olympics to PyeongChang.
Lee met with journalists Jan. 9 in Las Vegas, where he was attending the International Consumer Electronics Show. Lee is the former chairman of Samsung, which has a commanding exhibit space as the world’s largest electronics manufacturer. The company, South Korea’s biggest, is also a worldwide Olympic sponsor
Lee has been suspended from the IOC since 2008 as the result of his trial and subsequent conviction on corporate corruption charges. He was fined and given a three-year suspended jail term.
But Lee received a pardon from the President of Korea last month, a development which is likely to mean the restoration of his status as an IOC member. That decision from the IOC Executive Board could come next month on the eve of the Vancouver Olympics.
Lee, who turned 68 this weekend, told reporters that he would work with the people of Korea to bring the first-ever Winter Olympics to the country, according to a report from Yonhap News Agency.
But Lee said he could not evaluate the odds for PyeongChang, making a third bid in a row for the Winter Games.
"Nobody knows. I truly don't know. It is difficult to imagine," he is quoted by Yonhap.
Lee is South Korea’s senior IOC member. The second South Korean IOC member is athlete-electedDae Sung Moon, who was elected to an eight-year term in 2008.
Lee told reporters he had no immediate plans to return to the management of Samsung. He resigned as chairman in 2008 after 20 years in the post.
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Written by Ed Hula.