By Kim Hyun-cheol
In its third attempt to host the Winter Olympics, this time in 2018, PyeongChang unveiled a new slogan for its campaign and new special promotional ambassadors at a ceremony to further efforts for the next 12 months before the final selection is announced next year.
The brand new campaign, "New Horizons," contains the message of a new stage, a new generation and new possibilities in the Olympic journey. A Winter Olympics in Korea would be a symbolic event for Asia, which has fathomless potential for growth in winter sports, organizers said.
In addition to Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Kim Yu-na, seven new special envoys were appointed for PyeongChang's bid. They include classical singer Sumi Jo, actor Song Il-gook and a trio of speed skaters ― Lee Seung-hoon, Lee Sang-hwa and Mo Tae-bum, who won gold medals at the Vancouver Olympics in February.
"Including myself, all the special ambassadors will do our best to support PyeongChang's long-aspired efforts to host the Winter Olympics," said Hwang Young-jo, one of the new envoys and the 1992 Barcelona Olympic gold medalist in the marathon.
The mountainous city in Gangwon Province, east of Seoul, looks to become the first Asian host of a Winter Olympics since Nagano, Japan in 1994.
It was selected as a candidate city by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last month, and is currently vying with Munich of Germany and Annecy of France.
In a presentation at the ceremony, the PyeongChang committee's general director Ha Do-bong said it will try to make the best of the key message.
Customized strategies will be planned out to attract IOC officials who will cast votes in selecting the host city, and all major international events held here will be paralleled with Olympic campaign activities, he said.
PyeongChang committee President Cho Yang-ho said the recognition and trust is remarkably high on the global sports stage, and lots of IOC members are friendly to Korea's efforts.
"Now that we have only one year to D-day, we all well aware that we have to campaign all-out for the remaining days," Cho said. "Every minute of every day is significant for our effort to win the hearts of IOC members in every possible way.
"Also, we will make sure we will be completely ready to show our best in the on-site inspection by the IOC scheduled for early next year," Cho added.
The host venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics will be announced on July 6, 2011, at the IOC's General Assembly meeting in Durban, South Africa.
PyeongChang lost its bid to host 2010 Winter Olympics to Vancouver, Canada, and suffered a second straight setback to Russia's Sochi in the competition for the 2014 Games.
In both campaigns, the Korean city led in the first vote but failed to earn a majority, then was frustrated by united Western votes in the second round.