(ATR) New IOC member Seung Min Ryu says the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang need more promotion.
"The PyeongChang Olympics needs more attention and support from people. The whole world is going to look at what we're doing. We need to show our strength to the world," Ryu said in Seoul Tuesday at the annual Coca Cola Sports Award. He received an honor for distinguished service, skater Yu Na Kim a previous winner.
Ryu, 34, was elected to the IOC Athletes Commission at the Rio Olympics, giving him a seat for the next eight years on the IOC as well. He won the singles gold medal at the Athens Olympics and last competed in London.
Ryu is one of two IOC members in South Korea. Senior IOC member Kun Hee Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, has been in a coma for more than two years after a heart attack.
"When I met with other IOC members and athletes, some of them still showed their concerns for the Olympics," he said.
"But after a series of test events and the one-year-to-go countdown ceremony, many of them are having big expectations for PyeongChang. We really need to prepare for this Olympics thoroughly," Ryu is quoted by Yonhap News Agency.
"I would actually feel relieved if we found some problems through these test events because that means we can do better next year," Ryu said.
PyeongChang organizers are in the midst of a series of nine test events for the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics. This weekend more than 35,000 spectators are expected at the Gangneung Ice Arena for the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.
The competition presents 112 skaters from 14 countries, but none from Europe. It’s the first international figure skating event to be staged at the new arena that will host figure skating and short track speed skating next February.
Written by Ed Hula.
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