Posted : 2013-09-04 16:56
Updated : 2013-09-04 16:56

'Splitting Olympic Games is no-no'

Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang said Wednesday that splitting Olympic skiing competitions with North Korea will be “practically impossible” in response to an idea of Chang Ung, North Korea’s representative on the International Olympic Committee, that Masik ski resort, more than 300-kilometers away from PyeongChang, could be used as a venue for the Games. / Yonhap

PyeongChang rejects NK request for skiing events in Wonsan 

By Jung Min-ho

Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang made it clear Wednesday that they have no intention of splitting Olympic skiing events with North Korea.

Chang Ung, North Korea’s representative on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), suggested Tuesday that the country’s Masik ski resort, more than 300-kilometers away from PyeongChang, could be used as a competition venue once construction is completed, Voice of America reported.

Officials at PyeongChang, however, said Chang’s idea would be “practically impossible.’’

“IOC regulations state that the Olympic events should be held in the host city unlike the World Cup,’’ the PyeongChang organizing committee said, noting that IOC President Jacques Rogge was also skeptical about the suggestion of sharing the events with North Korea.

In fact, IOC’s Olympic Charter states that “All sports competitions must take place in the host city of the Olympic Games, unless the IOC Executive Board authorizes the organization of certain events in other cities, sites or venues situated in the same country.”

Exceptions are made only if geographical or topographical reasons prevent the host city from properly organizing the Games. However, this does not apply to PyeongChang.

“Secondly, the priority for the organizers is to ensure the best possible environment for athletes by providing them with technical and operational support,” the organizing committee added. “Holding parts of the competition in the place, which is more than 300 kilometers away from PyeongChang, will make it difficult to satisfy the priority.”

Additionally, building extra infrastructure there, including an athletes’ village and media center, as well as security arrangements are expected to bring about many problems, the organizers said.  

Chang’s comment further fueled speculation about co-hosting the Games with North Korea after another dignitary Won Gil-woo told the Japanese media Sunday that North Korea is willing to provide Masik ski resort if South Korea and IOC ask for it.

Kim Jong-un expects the construction of the Masik ski resort, located near the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, to be completed by the end of this year.

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