From Barry Newcombe, in Seoul, Korea
London next month looks like being one of the key battlegrounds for the 2018 Winter Olympics, for which Annecy in France, Munich in Germany and PyeongChang in Korea are the three candidates.
The SportAccord convention in London from April 3-8 is one of the more significant forums ahead of the bid decision, and it was announced here today that Korea’s Olympic gold medal-winning figure skating champion, Kim Yu-Na, will be present to back the Korean bid.
Kim did not have an apperance in London on her schedule originally but her plans changed when the world championships due to be staged in Tokyo this week were abandoned because of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Kim’s appearance in London on April 7 could be critical to the bis prospects. “We expect Kim will be able to carry out her role as a speaker successfully,” a Korean bid official said.
“She has a lot of experience from her interviews with the media since she won the gold medal in Vancouver and she speaks good English. She is also going to have extra training in speech presentation.”
The host city for the 2018 Winter Games will be anounced by the International Olympic Committee on July 6.
The SJA is staging a fringe event during SportAccord, with an Olympic Question Time being held on April 5 (click here for details of how to attend).
The annual congress of AIPS being staged here this week will see the president of the international sports press association, Gianni Merlo, make an appeal to the London 2012 organisers to drop plans for a £150 per person internet access charge to the media for the course of the Games.
“We will go to London 2012 to try to cancel the rate card. Nowadays all the associations are giving us free access to the internet,” Merlo said.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Tue Apr 5: SJA Olympic Question Time. Click here to find out more
Wed Apr 13: SJA 2011 Annual Meeting, at offices of UK Sport, Russell Square. Strictly SJA members only.
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates