By Duncan Mackay
November 29 - Pyeongchang deserves to be awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics because it has kept all the promises it made during its unsuccessful bid to host the 2010 Games, the Governor of Gangwon Province claimed today.
The South Korean city fell only a few votes short of being awarded the 2010 Olympics, losing out by 56 votes to 53 to Vancouver when the vote was held in Prague six years ago.
This will be Pyeongchang's third bid to host the Olympics having also tried unsuccessfully for the 2014 Games, which were awarded to Sochi.
Kim Jin-sun, the Governor of Gangwon Province, has now promised that Pyeongchang will keep on bidding until they are awarded the Games but that their commitment to Olympism means that they deserve them now ahead of their rivals, Annecy and Munich.
He said: "Despite two previous unsuccessful bids, Pyeongchang has been diligently delivering on all the commitments it made to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) during the 2010 bid process.
"Venues for ski jumping, biathlon, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboard and curling have all been built according to the plan, and the IOC Hotel and the Media Village have also been completed already.
"In particular, the Dream Programme, which has been staged in Pyeongchang with the motto of 'Olympics for the Next Generations,' has garnered the world's kind attention and positive evaluation.
"Young future athletes from countries, where winter sports are not readily available due to climate and economic conditions, are invited to Pyeongchang and learn how to ski and skate, mingling with friends from other countries and of different cultures.
"During the six years since 2004, 692 youngsters from 39 countries have been part of this annual winter sports training programme and shared together in Pyeongchang's dreams and friendship.
"This Dream Programme, which contributes to the advancement of the Olympic Movement by bridging between generations and between continents, is a testament of Pyeongchang's ardent wishes to attract the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."
Kim also claimed that awarding the Games to Pyeongchang would help the reconciliation of Korea.
He said: "I am confident. In the year of 2018, when the world's athletes, inspired by Olympic spirits, gather in the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province that remains divided between South and North Korea, and realise how big and meaningful a contribution they are making to world peace and reconciliation, I am confident they would all say, 'If there's a most proud thing to say in this world of peace and freedom, that would be 'I am a citizen of PyeongChang.'
"What else could be a more noble victory of Olympism than this?
"This is what I could never let go of Pyeongchang and give up my and our Olympic dreams for."
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