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New Paralympics chief to visit S. Korea

2017/10/13 11:07

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SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- The top representative of the Paralympic Games will visit South Korea next week to check on preparations for the upcoming multisport event for disabled athletes, local organizers said Friday.

Andrew Parsons, who was elected the new chief of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) last month, will begin a three-day visit to South Korea on Sunday, according to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG). The 40-year-old Brazilian will be accompanied by his predecessor Philip Craven.

Parsons will first inspect a ski facility for disabled athletes in Seoul on Sunday. He will then move on to PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, to attend the IPC Project Review meeting Tuesday and examine South Korea's preparations for the Paralympic Games next year.

POCOG said Parsons will also meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before leaving the country Wednesday.

Parsons and Moon are likely to discuss North Korea's Paralympics participation. South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha said Thursday that the North submitted a document to the IPC in May detailing its intent to compete at the Winter Paralympics next year, although the communist state hasn't made further moves since then.

The Seoul government and POCOG have been wanting North Koreans to take part in both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games south of the border despite escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang's missile provocations.

Meanwhile, POCOG said Craven will receive an honorary doctorate from Yongin University in Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday for his contribution to disabled sports. The 66-year-old Brit served as the IPC President for 16 years before handing the helm to Parsons.

kdon@yna.co.kr

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