Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics preparations aren’t going well and South Korean officials are investigating why


Pyeongchang Mayor Sok-ra waves the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in February. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

Hosting the Olympics or World Cup? Better be prepared for an investigation.

Along with Russia, the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup, Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, and Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup, Pyeongchang, South Korea is now joining the list. The host of the 2018 Winter Olympics has been under investigation over its preparations for the games, South Korean said Tuesday. The Associated Press reports:

The confirmation by the Seoul-based Board of Audit and Inspection came one day after the resignation of organizing committee chief Kim Jin-sun.

Kim stepped down saying new leadership is needed. South Korean media reported he was fired by the government over poor preparations for the games, citing delays in construction of the speedskating venue and lack of progress in signing major sponsorship deals.

However, whether the audit, which began in late May and ended on July 11, centers on either of those two issues is unclear. Nor is it clear whether Jun-sun’s resignation had anything to do with the investigation, the full results of which should be released in three months. The Associated Press reports:

[Officials in the eastern Gangwon province, which includes Pyeongchang], who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give their names under department rules, said the construction delay should have nothing to do with Kim’s resignation because building issues are overseen by provincial officials, not by the organizing committee.

At least one thing seems certain: Unlike Russia, Brazil and Qatar, South Korea has yet to come under fire for human rights reasons. Hopefully it won’t.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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