The government has launched a special team, Tuesday, to support athletes representing South Korea at next year’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) established the special support team in order to improve the performances of the national team athletes. South Korea aims to win at least 20 medals for a top four finish in the gold medal tally during the country’s first-ever Winter Olympics. The team will have its first meeting on Wednesday.
At the Sochi Winter Olympics, South Korea sent 71 athletes to compete in six events and ranked 13th with three gold, three silver and two bronze medals. For the 2018 PyeongChang games, the government will spend 33.7 billion won ($28.9 million), 6.3 billion won more than last time, on national team athletes.
The money will pay for overseas training for athletes and recruitment of more foreign coaches. It will also help secure more time for the athletes to train in the six Olympic facilities, including the Gangneung Oval for speed skaters, the Gangneung Ice Arena for figure and short track skaters, and the Alpensia Sliding Centre which will host the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events during the Olympics. The Korea Institute of Sport Science will also be dispatched to assist athletes by analyzing the athletes’ performances and providing psychological counseling to them.
“To make the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the Paralympics become a culture Olympics for the people all around the world, we will give our utmost in preparations and fully cooperate with sports communities,” MCST Vice Minister Yoo Dong-hoon said.
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will take place in the resort town in Gangwon Province from Feb. 9 to 25 next year, and the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics will be held from March 9 to 18 following the Winter Games
Baek Byung-yeul, Korea Times