By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

April 11 - Lee Kun-hee (pictured), the South Korean billionaire controversially reinstated as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has flown to Europe to promote Pyeongchang's bid to host the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics.

Lee, who was reinstated as an IOC member in February, after he was given a Presidential pardon following his conviction for financial wrongdoing and tax evasion so that he could help Pyeongchang's bid.

Lee, who also recently returned to head Samsung Electronics having resigned in 2008, is expected to travel to Switzerland and Italy to try to meet as many IOC members as possible to try to earn their support for Pyeongchang, who are facing rival bids from Annecy and Munich.

Meanwhile, Jai-ryong Jang, the secretary general of Pyeongchang's bid, has revealed that Kim Yu-Na, South Korea's Olympic gold medal figure skater, is set soon to be joined as an ambassador for the bid by a number of the country's other top athletes.

South Korea won a record 14 medals at the Olympics in Vancouver, including six gold.

Jang said: "We think this is a very important factor for our bid because it shows the passion for winter sports in Korea.

"In the past we did fairly well at short track [speed skating] but this time we also won gold medals in speed skating and figure skating.

"Also we have more athletes participating in ski sports, so this shows that Korea is developing as a strong winter sports country.

"These results were realised due to public support for the development of winter sports and to Government support for the athletes.

"All this shows Korea is determined and prepared to host the Olympic Winter Games.”

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