'A Dream Comes True'

PyeongChang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee Chmn. Kim behind the 'Success Story of PyeongChang'

Kim Jin-sun, chairman of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, still recalls the jubilation he and all Korean people shared when IOC President Jacques Rogge announced "It's PyeongChang," awarding the Korean city the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics at the IOC general conference in Durban, South Africa, this past July 6.
For Kim, the moment was an extraordinary thing since the dream he himself floated 17 years before became a reality. Kim, then an official of the Gangwon provincial government in his 40s, proposed a plan to bring the Winter Olympic Games to Gangwon Province. He was the virtual architect of the success story of PyeongChang, which grabbed the hosting right for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games after a third consecutive bid. Kim spearheaded the first and second unsuccessful bidding attempts while serving as Gangwon governor, but the third time was a charm for PyeongChang.
Kim, now the chairman of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games Organizing Committee, spoke of a bigger picture of the upcoming Olympic Games at a recent interview with NewsWorld at the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul.
He said, "I felt sure of the victory this time in Durban. I'd been overwhelmed with a feeling of great joy as tears streamed from my eyes, like the silver lining of every cloud, the moment PyeongChang was confirmed as the venue." PyeongChang, a remote town in the middle of a rugged, mountainous area of Gangwon Province, with a population of just 40,000, beat Germany's Munich and France's Annecy in the IOC vote for selecting the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"Initially, many people expressed skepticism, saying that the economically-impoverished Gangwon Province's hosting of the Winter Games was out of question," the chairman said. "If all resources will be drawn with a vision, a dream will finally come true, and the episode proves that what seems to be impossible can be achieved with an undaunted, challenging sprit."
Kim is now very busy with drawing a bigger picture of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. He received a letter from IOC President Rogge congratulating him on his appointment as the chairman of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games Organizing Committee. He said, "We have lots of things to have in-depth discussions about and to collaborate with the IOC, particularly the drawing of the detailed master plan for the Olympic Games, and we're working against time to get all things ready at least by late 2016."
As to the reason for his decision to make a third attempt despite the two failed attempts that brought with them a ton of frustration and criticism, he cited the words of encouragement and suggestions from some IOC members, as well as the province and the nation's commitment to hosting the Winter Olympics.
Rehearsing his presentation of Korea's plan for the IOC members, Kim inserted the phrase "my third destined encounter with IOC members." He was close to bursting into tears while making the presentation to this effect before many familiar IOC members.
Korea has a track record of hosting sports extravaganzas ¡ªthe 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 IAAF World Championships. Kim noted that Korea saw its national standing improve dramatically through the successful hosting of the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, as Japan did through the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. He forecast that Korea's hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will serve as a good opportunity to have the national standing further upgraded in political, economic, and other social fields, as the nation is set to join the ranks of advanced countries in earnest.
Kim said his committee will see to it that the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will make both ends meet in budgetary terms, with the exception of infrastructure construction, and the nation will showcase its capacity and the beauty of Asia. He said his committee will extend all-out efforts to make the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games a success, taking a cue from the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games, since PyeongChang has much in common with the mountainous city in Norway.
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be the third winter Olympiad to be held in Asia following the 1972 Sapporo Games and the 1998 Nagano Games, both in Japan.
PyeongChang has implemented many events such as the "Dream Program" and skiing travel marts, especially targeting Southeast Asian counties, to promote winter sports as part of its efforts to bring the Winter Olympic Games to the city. Kim said his committee will devote itself to making PyeongChang a mecca of skiing surpassing Japanese ski resorts after the 2018 Games is over. nw

Kim Jin-sun, chairman of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Photo by NewsWorld

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