Friday, February 16, 2007

Pyeongchang Olympic Bid

I wish the best of luck to Pyeongchang in their bid to host the 2014 Olympics. I am sincere but also I fear that Koreans might be upset with Canadians because Vancouver stole the 2010 games away.

Earlier, I questioned Korea's bid. Here in Sokcho, we have seen only a brief dusting of snow this winter. In the mountains, I am sure there is more, but enough? Recently, I learned of Swiss ski resorts helicoptering in snow in the days just before an international competition, so Korea's situation doesn't seem so bad.

Two things still concern me. First the wording of the middle banner above (click to enlarge). "Welcome to Gangneung Happy, Peace Olympic"? Actually, there may be an opportunity for ESL teachers here. Despite the many spelling errors on this blog, I do a fair job of editting. Time to throw my hat in.

My second concern is at the end of this quote from the Joongang daily.
Pyeongchang hopes its location in Asia, its experience from its bid in 2010 (when it fell second to Vancouver, Canada by three votes) and its strong infrastructure will outweigh any doubts about political instability or nature-related problems on the peninsula, as well as overcome the bids by the two other cities. An International Olympic Committee member from Korea, Park Yong-sung, was pardoned on corruption charges Monday, allowing him to get out of jail and participate in the bid activities this week.

People have complained on other blogs about Korea's system of pardoning white-collar criminals with political connections, so I'll hold off. Look here if you are interested. I can't really see how returning a convicted felon to the IOC committee can help Korea and Korea's image in the long term. I know that I have mentioned in at least one previous post that it would be nice to see an article in which the words "Korea", "Olympics" and "corruption" were not all present.

1 comment:

Nathan B. said...

An outstanding post, Brian!