Korea to Promote Winter Sports in Run-up to Olympics

      July 15, 2011 12:44

      The government will spend W550 billion in the years leading up the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to promote winter sports and foster elite athletes (US$1=W1,059). Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Choung Byoung-gug on Thursday announced fives strategies designed to make the winter games a success.

      The National Assembly, Gangwon Province and the Korean Olympic Committee will join forces to form an Olympic organizing committee within three months, while a law will be enacted to facilitate preparation of the games.

      A task force of officials from the fields of sports, culture and arts, tourism and PR, as well as civilian experts will promote the nation's cultural and tourism assets during the Olympics. The government will seek eco-friendly certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for all the stadiums to be built for the games, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions by using recyclable energy sources.

      In economic terms, the plan envisions developing various tour programs associated with winter sports and coming up with permanent uses for the facilities after the Olympics.

      A W550 billion program over the next seven years aims to nurture elite winter sport athletes like figure skating star Kim Yu-na. It includes improving training environments by building a multi-purpose training center, introducing more scientific approaches to training, helping athletes train at prestigious winter sports schools overseas, and inviting top coaches from abroad.

      Asked about the possibility of co-hosting the Olympics with North Korea, the minister said the country has signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and the terms and conditions cannot be broken.

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