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    Chief of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizing committee quits

    Jul 21, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea — The head of Pyeongchang's organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics resigned Monday, saying new leadership is needed to complete preparations for the games.

    A former provincial governor, Kim Jin-sun was elected president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee (Pocog) in late 2011 after Pyeongchang won the right to host the Winter Olympics for the first time in South Korea. He was re-elected last year for another two-year term.

    "PyeongChang 2018 is at a turning point for the latter half of its games preparation, which requires more detailed planning and execution," Kim told a committee meeting Monday, according to a Pocog statement.

    "At this critical juncture, I believe that PyeongChang 2018 needs new leadership and a stronger system that will effectively carry out various games-related projects," he was quoted as saying.

    The Pocog is yet to comment on the process for replacing Kim or his likely successor.

    Kim, former governor of the eastern Gangwon province which includes Pyeongchang, led the South Korean town's two unsuccessful bids for the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. In 2010, he stepped down as governor and had since served as an ambassador to Pyeonchang's bid committee for the 2018 games.

    Kim's tenure was to officially end in October 2015 and it is not known what exactly caused his early departure.

    IOC officials who visited Pyeongchang earlier this year expressed no major concerns about preparations for the 2018 games.

    In May, Gunilla Lindberg, who led the International Olympic Committee's coordination commission on a three-day inspection visit of the 2018 host city, said a large amount of work had been achieved since the panel's previous visit in June last year.

    Continue reading below ↓

    "The 2018 games are on the right track, but it is clear that much work remains," Lindberg said. "With only four years to go until the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games begin, it was important for the commission to be able to survey the progress being made on the different venues. We are pleased to see that work on key sites like the sliding center and coastal Olympic Village has begun."

    Earlier this month, IOC President Thomas Bach downplayed concerns about tight construction schedules for the Pyeongchang Olympics.

    "It is not new that when it comes to the organization of games that, in one or the other project, there are some delays in comparison to the previous plans, so there's no reason right now to become nervous," Bach said during a visit to Pyeongchang.

    Bach said the IOC remains confident that Pyeongchang can organize an "excellent" games.

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