Seoul to lead South Korea's joint bid with North for 2032 Olympics
Seoul was today named as the South Korean city in the country's proposed joint bid with North Korea to stage the 2032 Olympic Games.
Seoul, which staged the 1988 summer Olympics, received 34 of the 49 votes at the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee general assembly to defeat Busan, the port city that was its only other rival.
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon said in a statement today: “Seoul will cooperate with the national government so that the 2032 Summer Olympics become something more than a sports festival – an opportunity to change the fate of the Korean Peninsula.”
South and North Korea are now expected to officially inform the International Olympic Committee of their intentions to bid to host the 2032 Olympics in a meeting in Lausanne on Friday.
Just last week, IOC president Thomas Bach said “in a couple of days we will meet the two Governments and the two National Olympic Committees to see how the IOC can contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.”
Unlike its counterpart, North Korea is yet to announce its candidate city for the games, although it is understood that Pyongyang is the likeliest location as it is the only city with the infrastructure to host such an event.
As well as the proposed joint bid between the Koreas, they also plan to participate with a combined team in 2032, which they did in women's ice hockey at the 2018 winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
The two countries have already said that they would “participate jointly” at international competitions including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In September last year, North and South Korea agreed to pursue a joint bid to host the games in 2032, as part of a summit meeting between the country’s leaders.
At the same time, the two previously antagonistic countries committed to an era of “no war,” with North Korea saying it would close a key missile test facility in the presence of “international experts” and potentially destroy its primary nuclear complex if USA agrees to corresponding measures.
Intervention by the IOC was credited for a historic decision by the teams of North and South Korea to march together at the ceremonies in PyeongChang.
The move was regarded as the start of a major softening in the often hostile relations between the two Koreas.The IOC is expected to name the hosts of the 2032 Olympics in 2025, with India, Indonesia, Argentina, Egypt, Germany, Russia and Australia all believed to be contenders.