Pyeongchang 2018 sign Memorandum of Understanding with Seoul Metropolitan Government

Pyeongchang 2018 sign Memorandum of Understanding with Seoul Metropolitan Government
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The Seoul Metropolitan Government has reaffirmed its backing for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Organising Committee today.

Under the partnership, the Government in the capital will help promote the first-ever Winter Olympics and Paralympics to be held in South Korea by spreading the message about the event on billboards and in leaflets and newsletters.

They will also provide Pyeongchang 2018 with workforce and resources support for Games operations, including the Torch Relay and other cultural events which will be held in the lead-up to the event.

“Close cooperation and collaboration with the capital city of Seoul during the remaining months will be vital for the successful preparation of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” Pyeongchang 2018 President Lee Hee-boem said.

“I look forward to the support and participation of the ten million Seoulites, since the many spectators and team officials visiting Pyeongchang will also be interested in the fun features that Seoul has to offer.”

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon added: “Pyeongchang 2018 will be the second edition of the Olympic Games held in Korea, 30 years after the Seoul 1988 Summer Games.

“I hope it will be an opportunity for all of us to feel the passion again.

“The Metropolitan Government of Seoul will act as a sincere and strong partner for the success of the 2018 Winter Games.”

Pyeongchang lies around 126km to the east of the South Korean capital and a high-speed rail link is currently being constructed which will cut the journey time in half, from four to two hours.

The project has, however, encountered problems as four companies were raided by prosecutors in Seoul amid corruption allegations concerning the line.

In 2012, the South Korean Government were forced to deny claims they had misled the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by promising to build a direct bullet train between Incheon, on the west coast, and Pyeongchang that would cut travelling time to just 68 minutes.

A new bullet train for the route was revealed in March, manufactured by Hyundai Rotem and unveiled at the company’s plant in Changwon.

It is estimated that the cost of building the railway line is $3.7 billion (£2.6 billion/€3.3 billion).

Those who travel from Seoul to Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, which will play host to many of the ice sports, may still struggle to find accommodation despite IOC Coordination Commission chair Gunilla Lindberg revealing five new hotels are due to be built to ease fears earlier this year.

Liam Morgan, insidethegames.biz

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