After receiving a compelling proposition, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) today accepted the recommendation of the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games to initiate a targeted dialogue with the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KOC) for the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 2024.
In line with the proposals for future host elections approved by the IOC Session in June, the IOC had already been open to opportunities for the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2024. The proposal from the KOC and Gangwon Province also has support from the National Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the cities of PyeongChang and Gangneung.
As stated by IOC President Thomas Bach at the time of the appointment of both Future Host Commissions, the Winter Commission, chaired by IOC Member Octavian Morariu, started work immediately, as one of the priorities was to discuss the Winter YOG 2024. Due to the quality and feasibility of the project, the Commission then recommended opening a targeted dialogue with the KOC.
The recommendation of the Future Host Commission was based on the following rationale:
- A positive technical feasibility assessment
- Solid support from all levels of government
- The opportunity to bring the Winter YOG to Asia for the first time after three editions hosted in Europe
- The opportunity to build on the legacy of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 with use of existing venues
- The opportunity to further leverage sport to continue dialogue for peace on the Korean peninsula.
President Bach said: “The proposal is very compelling from the perspective of legacy and sustainability as it would be an opportunity to hold the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2024 in a number of venues where Olympians competed a few years earlier at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. It would be a powerful inspiration for a new generation of winter sports athletes and fans in Korea and beyond. And the Games concept would be open to take North Korea on board in the organisation if the circumstances allow.”
Returning to a previous Olympic host would bring significant logistical, financial and organisational advantages, capitalising on ready-to-use facilities, sites and workforce.
The Games would bolster ongoing sports programmes funded by Gangwon Province and the national government and further promote the development of youth sports initiatives. The 2018 PyeongChang Legacy Foundation runs a winter sports camp for thousands of students, as well as a nationwide school visits programme to promote the Olympic values and encourage healthy living.
A report by the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games will be given at the next IOC Executive Board meeting in January. If all the requirements are met during this period, the IOC EB can submit a proposal for vote by the IOC Session, on 10 January 2020, also in Lausanne.