PYEONGCHANG, January 17, 2012 - Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, led the proceedings today in the nation's united wishes for the successful organisation of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Up to 4,000 participants from all walks of life joined President Lee as they congregated in Alpensia, official site of the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for the 'National Rally for a Successful PyeongChang 2018'. The rally was staged by the PyeongChang Organizing Committee headed by 3-time former governor Jin Sun Kim.
President Lee celebrated the victorious bid and called on the nation to commit its full support for the organisation of the Games. President Lee praised the passion and determination of the PyeongChang citizens as the key factors in the city winning the bid at its third try. He reiterated that the government would commit its full and unflagging support to the organisation of the Games.
The President urged the host city to stage a Games that will be long remembered for its rich and exotic culture, bustling economy and tourism, and commitment to eco-friendliness. Furthermore, he hoped that PyeongChang would continue to play a significant role in the propagation of Olympism and winter sports beyond the Games, especially to countries that do not experience winter.
Dignitaries who were in attendance included ministers and officials from the central government, provincial and local governments. In addition, high-ranking executives from the Korean Olympic and Paralympic movements, key advisors, and members of the Organizing Committee were also present at the rally. Despite their diverse backgrounds, the participants displayed a passionate show of unity and reiterated their full commitment to mutually cooperate and strive towards the perfect delivery of the Games.
In addition to the rally, President Lee met with national team athletes at Alpensia, who were undergoing training in ski jumping, cross country skiing, and snowboarding. The President also presented merit awards to 13 outstanding individuals, including Olympic champion Yuna Kim, who had contributed immensely to the successful bid.
The rally concluded with a music concert featuring popular K-pop singers.