South Korea President to Back PyeongChang Bid at Durban Session

June 16, 2011

PyeongChang’s bid to host the 2018 Winter Games has received a welcome boost after it was confirmed that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is to show his support for the campaign by attending the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Durban next month.

South Africa’s Sam Ramsamy, who is also a member of the IOC, revealed that Lee will be attending the event that is due to begin on July 4 with the vote to decide which city should host the Games scheduled for July 6.

The news follows the confirmation that German President Christian Wulff will also be present to lobby for Munich at the Session, though it remains unclear if French President Nicolas Sarkozy would attend to back the Annecy bid.

Last month Lee claimed it would be a “national disgrace” if Pyeongchang were beaten for a third consecutive time having previously narrowly lost to Vancouver to host the 2010 Winter Olympics and Sochi for 2014.

Ramsamy stated: “The cities are expected to bring huge bid delegations and the winning host city will be elected in a secret IOC ballot on July 6.

“We have already had confirmation that German and South Korean Presidents are also expected to be in Durban to support their country’s bids.

“This event is the biggest biannual meeting of leaders in global sport. 

“Having been born in Durban, this is indeed a great delight and honour that we can host such a high profile event in this city.

“In the 117 years of the IOC, this event has never been hosted in Africa. 

“To host this event in our country and knowing how cities and countries vie to host the IOC Session, Durban is certainly fortunate.

“This gives me an opportunity to personally welcome my colleagues to the city where I was born.”