The government assured Thursday that it would continue to back PyeongChang’s 2018 bid and work to bring the Winter Olympics for the first time here.
“2018 Winter Games is our top priority this year,” said Choung Byoung-gug, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in a public meeting explaining the government’s sports policy.
“We have successfully passed the IOC’s inspection, but we still have a long way to go before the final decision is made in July,” Choung added.
PyeongChang is competing against Munich of Germany and the French town of Annecy for the 2018 Winter Games. The IOC members will select the 2018 host by secret ballet on July 6 in Durban, South Africa.
The bid to host Winter Olympic in PyeongChang is not just a goal of the region, but also the whole country, and further it is a “dream of Asia,” according to Choung.
On Thursday, the ministry explained its annual policy on sports in an open meeting where leaders of the local sports governing bodies, athletes and researchers are invited at the Olympic Park, Seoul.
Apart to from helping PyeongChang’s campaign, the ministry has pledged to raise the public’s participation in sports, and also to develop the local sports industries.
As a part of its effort to raise participation in sports, the ministry is planning to expand the number of sports vouchers for low-income families and increase the number of youth sports instructors from 1,223 to 1,500 in elementary schools across the country.
“Korea has become a powerhouse in the Olympics, but it’s time to develop our sports systems to truly become a leading country in world sports,” Choung said.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)