By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

March 10 - Pyeongchang today became the first of the three cities bidding to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics to finalise its Application File, an occasion marked with a special signing ceremony.

The signing ceremony was conducted by Yang-Ho Cho and Jin-Sun Kim, the co-chairmen of Pyeongchang's bid. 
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Applicant City Questionnaire was issued in 2009 and the deadline to submit the Applicant File to the IOC is March 15.
Pyeongchang 2018 appointed a dedicated team to oversee the preparation and submission of the city’s Applicant File.

The Applicant File will now be delivered to the IOC at its headquarters in Lausanne to communicate the South Korean city’s vision for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and demonstrate Pyeongchang's ability to host, organise and stage a successful Games.

In the document, Pyeongchang, an alpine resort county about 180 kilometers east of Seoul, highlighted its merits as an Olympic host, including the location of all sports venues within a 30-minute drive and the South Korean people's enthusiasm for winter sports, said the committee.

Cho said: "Today marks an important step in our journey to show Pyeongchang’s commitment, dedication and passion for hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 2018.

"We are proud to submit our Applicant File to the IOC and highlight Pyeongchang’s vision to help expand winter sports internationally, and connect the Olympic Movement with millions of new, young hearts and minds across the Asian region.

"Pyeongchang has strong points.

"Stadiums and sports facilities are concentrated in a 30-minute driving radius and two previous bid failures helped us accumulate experience.

"In particular, we have unified national support for the Games."
This is Pyeongchang's third consecutive bid to host the Winter Olympics, having been beaten narrowly by Vancouver and Sochi to stage the 2010 and 2014 Games respectively. 

This time they are considered to be the favourites in this race, which also features Annecy and Munich.
Kim said: "We are delighted to illustrate why we believe Pyeongchang 2018 is an ideal partner for the IOC.

"We want to show that we have worked tirelessly to keep our promises to the IOC, and have advanced our technical bid plan with significant investment in infrastructure and venue improvements."

The IOC required the three bidders to answer 25 questions on facilities, transportation and accommodation.

Kim said: "Our Applicant File highlights how Pyeongchang 2018 will offer the Olympic Movement the most compact and efficient Games plan in Olympic Winter Games history."

Following a review and evaluation of the bid cities’ Applicant Files, the IOC will announce the Candidate Cities for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games on June 21. 

The IOC is due to announce which city will host the 2018 Olympics at its Session in Durban on July 6, 2011.

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