By Nick Butler

Cho Yang-ho has been confirmed as the new President of Pyeongchang 2014 ©Pyeongchang 2018International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has welcomed the official appointment of Cho Yang-ho, the chairman of business giants Hanjin Group, as the new President of Pyeongchang 2018. 

As reported on insidethegames earlier this week, the 65-year-old, who had led Pyeongchang's successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, was unanimously elected in a meeting of 94 Committee officials today.

He will serve out the remainder of Kim Jin-sun's scheduled term as President, due to expire in October next year, after Kim stood down on the grounds that new leadership was required to complete preparations for the Games.

Cho initially turned down the offer to take over due to his responsibilities with Hanjin Group, a mammoth conglomeration that includes the Hanjin shipping line and Korean Air.

But Cho, vice-president of the Korean Olympic Committee, who has been President of the Korea Table Tennis Association since 2008, accepted the position as so many people had recommended him and to keep his promise with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to organise a successful Games.

"The Pyeongchang 2018 Games is a historic project, which will present a more developed Korea to the world," he said after his election.

"I'll devote myself to organising a successful Games, using my knowledge and experience as head of Pyeongchang 2018's Bid Committee."

Cho Yang-ho signing the Pyeongchang 2018 host city contract with former IOC President Jacques Rogge at the Session in Durban in 2011 ©Getty ImagesCho Yang-ho signing the Pyeongchang 2018 host city contract with former IOC President Jacques Rogge at the Session in Durban in 2011 ©Getty Images

The IOC announced they are "pleased" with the appointment and that they welcome his plans to dedicate himself to the success of the Games.

"The election of Yang-ho Cho as President of the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee underlines the importance that the Republic of Korea and the Korean sports movement places upon the success of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games," said Bach.

"We are pleased that President Cho has been elected so quickly and that he will dedicate himself to this important national project.

"I welcome him back to the Pyeongchang team.

"I am sure that he will deliver great Olympic Winter Games for the athletes in 2018."

Pyeongchang 2018 IOC Coordination Commission chair Gunilla Lindberg added: "I am pleased to welcome Yang-ho Cho as President .

"We already have a very good relationship from President Cho's work with the Bid Committee.

"I look forward to reinforcing our already strong links over the coming three-and-a-half years, as we work to deliver great Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018."

Construction of the Pyeongchang 2018 ice venues began earlier this month ©Pyeongchang 2018Construction of the Pyeongchang 2018 ice venues began earlier this month
©Pyeongchang 2018

This comes at a vital time in preparations for the Games, the first Winter Olympics to take place on South Korean soil, particularly given the context of all the problems involving the 2016 Summer edition in Rio de Janeiro.

The resignation of President Kim provoked speculation that he may have been forced to step down amid concerns about construction delays and domestic sponsorship problems.

A South Korean Government audit agency has also begun an investigation into financing and management, with the results to be expected within three months.

But an official at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism denied this review was the reason behind the resignation, which followed the exit of the vice-president and secretary general of the Committee, Moon Dong-hoo, who quit earlier this month.

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