IOC President praises ‘great commitment’ of Republic of Korea President for Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach met Republic of Korea President Geun-hye Park at the Blue House in Seoul today to discuss the status of preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
In the third meeting between the two leaders, they discussed the good progress and quality of construction of Olympic venues over the last year. President Park reiterated her government’s full support and guidance for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
“We had a very successful visit here in Korea,” said President Bach. “And I can say that we see the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games 2018 really being on track. There has been great progress made since my last visit.
“It was very important to have the opportunity to experience once more the real firm and great commitment of Republic of Korea President Park to the success of these Olympic Winter Games and also her great appreciation for the role sport plays in society. I was really impressed once more with this conversation with the President.”
President Bach told President Park of the reinvigorated cooperation between the International Federations, the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (POCOG) and the IOC due in part to the Integration Working Group, which has proven very effective in its support for the Olympic Winter Games 2018.
IOC President Thomas Bach with PyeongChang 2018 President Cho Yang-ho
The IOC President singled out PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee President Cho Yang-ho for his role in galvanising the preparations for the Games.
“My thanks to President Cho, who is doing an excellent job together with our IOC Coordination Commission,” said President Bach, who was accompanied throughout his one-day visit to Seoul by President Cho. “It is a real pleasure to see how the construction is coming off the ground, how the operations are making progress, and that we see the staffing of the Organising Committee with experienced people.”
As the organisers begin to shift from a transition stage to a more operational stage in preparations for the Games, focus is increasingly being placed on upcoming test events and the key learning opportunities they will provide. Recent efforts by POCOG to raise the profile of the Games are having a positive impact, but increased communication in and outside the organisation are needed in the lead-up to the first test events next year.
Earlier, President Bach spoke at a lunch organised by POCOG President Cho. The lunch was attended by leaders of the government, business and sports sectors. Accompanying President Bach were IOC Executive Board Member and Coordination Commission Chair for PyeongChang 2018 Gunilla Lindberg, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi.
The President also visited the headquarters of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and Worldwide Olympic Partner Samsung.
President Bach is scheduled to travel to Beijing tomorrow for a joint meeting on 21 August between the IOC Executive Board and the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). He will also attend the Opening Ceremony of the IAAF World Championships at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.