Seoul has today (Monday) been selected as South Korea’s candidate city for its joint bid with North Korea for the 2032 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The capital defeated a rival bid from Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, by winning 34 out of 49 votes at a meeting of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC). North Korea is yet to select its candidate city, but it is widely expected to be the capital, Pyongyang.
Speaking today, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said: “If the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympics was the starting point of the unification of North and South Korea, a 2032 Seoul-Pyongyang summer Olympics will be the end point of reunification.
He added: “I feel a sense of responsibility. If Seoul is chosen, it cannot be Seoul’s Olympic Games. The summer Olympic games are a national agenda. I hope that this opportunity will be a good chance to make the Korean peninsula free of tension and peaceful, and I hope that Seoul can play a lot of roles.”
North and South Korea agreed to inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of their intention to co-host the 2032 Games in November. Korean news agency Yonhap said that prior to today’s vote, Busan had made a proposal to become co-candidate cities with Seoul. However, this was rejected and a letter of intent regarding the joint bid is expected to be submitted to the IOC on Friday.
If successful, the 2032 Games will represent the second time Seoul has hosted the summer Olympics following the event in 1988.