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SBD Global/July 22, 2014/Olympics

PyeongChang Winter Games Organizing Committee President Kim Jin-Sun Resigns

The head of the organizing committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics "resigned Monday," saying "new leadership and a 'stronger system' is needed to complete preparations for the Games," according to the AP. Kim Jin-sun "was elected president of the organizing committee in late 2011" after PyeongChang won the right to host the first Winter Olympics in South Korea. He was "re-elected last year for another two-year term." Kim said, "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." The organizing committee "did not comment on the process for replacing Kim or his likely successor" (AP, 7/21). YONHAP reported the organizing committee said that Kim "announced his resignation during an executive staff meeting on Monday." Earlier in the day, a government official said that Kim "recently had expressed his intention to quit and that his resignation offer had been accepted, without offering specific time frames." Rumors that Kim "would leave the post first surfaced last week, when he didn't attend a groundbreaking ceremony for new venues for ice sports for the 2018 Olympics in Gangneung, a city near PyeongChang, last Thursday" (YONHAP, 7/21). In Seoul, Kwon Sang-soo reported in June, the organizing committee "was audited by the Board of Audit and Inspection because of suspected financial problems." A source in the government said on condition of anonymity that "the audit was based on Kim’s mismanagement of the committee’s finances." The source said that the committee needed to earn at least 80B-90B won ($77M-$87M) "for its operations over the past three years, and set up several projects, including the sale of sponsorships, but failed to obtain the necessary funds and then borrowed a large sum from banks." The source said, "This was a serious problem for the committee with only three years left until the event" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 7/22).
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