By Yi Whan-woo
Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na has begun to focus on promoting PyeongChang’s 2018 Winter Games bid.
The honorary ambassador of the bid committee gave a welcoming speech at Tuesday’s opening of the annual meeting of international sports journalists in Seoul.
Kim was not originally planned as a speaker for the 74th International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Congress which kicked off at COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, Tuesday. She was to compete in the Tokyo world championships this week, which have been called off in the wake of the earthquake in Japan. The International Skating Union (ISU) announced on its official website Monday that the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) informed them to decline hosting the event.
The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games Bid Committee appreciates her appearance as a recognized winter sports athlete, which could help promote the city ahead of Wednesday’s presentation on bid preparations, along with the other candidates — Annecy of France and Munich of Germany.
Cho Yang-ho, president of the committee, and Kwang Kwang-bae, sports director of the organization, will make presentations at COEX. Kim is set to take a leading role at the Sports Accord in London next month.
The sports exhibition from April 3 to April 8 will be managed by the General Association of International Federations (GAISF) and federations for both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The event is considered crucial for the three Winter Games bidders as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will also meet as part of the program.
The presentation in London on April 7 will be Kim’s first for the bid. It also draws attention to South Korea as Germany will have Olympic figure skating champion Katrina Witt as a speaker. The two-time Winter Games gold medalist and also the head of the Munich 2018 bid, will represent her side.
“We expect Kim will be able to successfully carry out her role as a speaker as she has a lot of experience from interviews with the media, plus she speaks good English” the nation’s bid committee official said.
Kim’s overseas schedule will also include participation at the technical briefing from May 18 to 19 at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. She will make her final effort on July 6 in Durban, South Africa, on which date the successful bidder will be announced.
Before she heads overseas she will undergo training for efficient speech delivery as well as look around the Winter Games facilities and venues in PyeongChang to better understand the city’s tactics. PyeongChang is emphasizing the close proximity of the facilities that will maximize convenience for both the athletes and visitors.
Kim’s schedule here also includes marking the 100 day countdown to the announcement of the host city on July 6. The event will take place at the World Peace Gate at the Olympic Park in southern Seoul on March 28.
Original source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2011/03/136_83608.html
In Vancouver, however, Korea snatched three gold and two silver medals in speed skating events.
Figure skating queen Kim Yu-na took the gold medal while setting a new world record. Though the bobsleigh team failed to yield any medals, it did advance to the final round.
In the Asian Winter Games in 2011, alpine skiers Jung Dong-hyun, and Kim Sun-joo brought back gold medals and Korean cross country legend Lee Cha-won finally won her first Asian Games’ gold.
As incomes in Korea have increased people are becoming more interested in winter sports amid rising investment, which has led to better performances.
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