President Lee Myung-bak on Monday rehearsed his presentation for PyeongChang’s 2018 Olympic bid to win over International Olympic Committee members in Durban, South Africa.
Along with his aides and officials of the PyeongChang committee, Lee reviewed his presentation to be made on Wednesday, South Africa time, during the IOC session. It is the mountain resort town’s third bid for the Winter Olympic Games.
Lee is also scheduled to hold a joint interview with five major foreign news agencies and Olympic-related media to promote PyeongChang’s merits and his government’s strong support for the 2018 Games to be hosted there.
Upon arrival in Durban Saturday night, Lee has been holding meetings, visiting officials on the PyeongChang committee and rehearsing the presentation.
PyeongChang narrowly lost to Vancouver in the competition for the 2010 Olympics and then to Russia’s Sochi for the 2014 Games. PyeongChang is vying against Germany’s Munich and France’s Annecy this time.
The town, about 180 kilometers east of Seoul, has emphasized that its hosting of the Olympics would help promote winter sports in Asia. So far, Japan is the only Asian nation to have hosted the Winter Games, at Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998. South Korea has hosted the Olympic Games only once before in the summer of 1988, which was widely seen as an event that played a part in ending the Cold War.
South Korea is a leadingwinter sports nation in Asia and home to world figure skating star Kim Yu-na. The country finished fifth in the medal tally at last year’s Vancouver Olympics with six golds and came in third with 13 golds in this year’s Asian Games after Kazakhstan and Japan.
On Tuesday, Lee is set to hold summit talks with South African President Jacob Zuma in Durban to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation on nuclear energy and mineral resource development, as well as expansion of trade and investment.
Lee will exchange views on global issues such as the G20, climate change and development cooperation with Zuma, who is arbitrating in the Libyan crisis as representative of the African Union, Lee’s office said. South Africa is a member of the G20.
Following the IOC announcement of the winning city on Wednesday, Lee will fly to Kinshasa of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday in return for Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s Seoul visit last year.
On Friday, Lee will travel to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa for summit talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for greater economic cooperation and to honor Ethiopia’s Korean War veterans. The president will return to Seoul Monday.