South Korea nixes idea of sharing Olympics with Japan

Tuesday December 9th, 2014

South Korea has declined the International Olympic Committee's suggestion to move events to another money in a cost-cutting measure, saying it wouldn't save money because they have already started construction, the Associated Press reports.

The IOC suggested that the nation move bobsled and luge events for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang to another country. Gangwon Province Gov. Choi Moon-soon says that is not an option because it wouldn’t be a cost savings; Pyeongchang already has begun construction on its venue for the sliding sports.

Japan already has a recently completed venue for those events from the Winter Games held in Nagano in 1998.

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Choi’s declaration comes just days after Gangwon provincial councilman Lee Ki-chan said that the national government in Seoul must take on a larger share of the costs associated with building the venues.

According to Japan Today, the South Korean government has agreed to take on half of the $60 million costs to build a new stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies in Pyeongchang.

But Lee said Seoul has to pay at least 75 percent to prevent hosting the Olympics from economically crippling Gangwon.

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Pyeongchang has already spent $1.5 billion on a ski resort that will be a primary venue for the Olympics and still has eight more venues to build—including the stadium—as well as new roads to connect everything.

South Korea hosted one Olympic Games previously, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and also co-hosted the World Cup with Japan in 2002.

- Phil Watson

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