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2008/06/17 16:53 KST
S. Korea's Pyeongchang renews bid to host Winter Olympics

   CHUNCHEON, South Korea, July 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's eastern resort of Pyeongchang officially renewed its bid Tuesday to host the Winter Olympics, an official said, calling on its provincial legislature to approve its plan to pitch for the right to host the event in 2018.

   Pyeongchang, a mountainous region about 180 kilometers east of Seoul, lost the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics to Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi last year. It had also lost a bid to host the 2010 Winter Games to Vancouver, Canada.

   In the proposal addressed to the legislature of Gangwon Province a day ahead of its Wednesday opening, Pyeongchang affirmed it would not fail in its third bid to host the showpiece winter event.

   "Pyeongchang won the recognition of the international sports world and media as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its ability (to host the Olympics)," the proposal read.

   Pyeongchang officials have long reiterated their aspirations to host the Winter Olympics, attributing their previous failures to political circumstances unfavorable to their efforts.

   Kwon Hyuk-seung, county administrator, suggested last year in an interview that even though Pyeongchang received the highest marks in preparedness and presentation, then-Russian President Vladimir Putin's last-minute push led IOC officials to grant Sochi the hosting right.

   Immediately following the defeat in July last year, the provincial legislature adopted a resolution that Pyeongchang -- home to about 20,000 households -- should pitch for the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

   "Pyeongchang now has a favorable international situation, having won recognition from the world," Kim Hak-cheol, a senior Pyeongchang official, said, referring to a series of recent international competitions the province has hosted, including the short track speed skating championships in March.

   "We'll also seek cooperation from the Korean Olympic Committee and the government and then begin a full campaign to host the event," Kim said.

   samkim@yna.co.kr
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