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Busan Follows in Seoul's Footsteps
Busan bids for the 2020 Summer Olympics
Beom-seok Sohn (gmitil10)     Print Article 
Published 2009-07-10 16:36 (KST)   
This article is lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
Many Koreans bitterly remember the two failed attempts by Pyeongchang to secure the rights to host the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. Missing the honor 3 votes out of 109 and 4 votes out of 108, respectively, Pyeongchang came extremely close to hosting the Winter Olympics not just one, but two times.(1)(2)

Well, Koreans may have another big chance coming up. In addition to Pyeongchang셲 announcement that the city will bid again for the 2018, the city of Busan (Korea셲 second-largest city) has submitted the application for the rights to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. If Busan were to have a successful bid, then it would return the Olympics to Korea for the first time since 1988 (when the Summer Olympics were held in Seoul).

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Busan carries with it a plethora of experience. It has already successfully hosted the 2002 Asian Games and the 17th APEC Forum (which brought much international recognition to Busan). Busan will also be hosting the World Boxing Championships in 2011. In recent years, Busan has also been developing into an international center for commerce and culture. With new development projects abound, this may be the ideal time to submit the bid.

Busan셲 convenient location may end up working in its favor as well. It is common knowledge that IOC prefers hosting consecutive events in different continents (regardless of the fact that it isn셳 an 쐎fficial policy). By 2020, Asia would not have hosted the Summer Olympics since 2008 (when the Beijing Olympics were held); that is, unless Tokyo secures its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. (The 2012 Olympics will be held in London.) If Tokyo fails to secure the rights to host the 2012 Olympics, 2020 would undeniably be the ideal time to bid.

Nonetheless, Busan will be facing stiff competition from a myriad of major cities abroad. Among the long litany of cities that have expressed interest in hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics are: Cape Town, Delhi, Doha (which failed in the preliminary stage of bidding for the 2016 Olympics), Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Birmingham (US), Detroit, Monterrey, Toronto, Lima, and many more.(3)

Yet one thing that is undeniable seems to be the passion that many Koreans have for Busan셲 bid. With the citizens of Busan shouting, 쏝usan 2020, Again 88, this bid seems to proudly remind Koreans of their country셲 successful hosting of the 1988 Seoul Olympics.(4) If successful, Busan셲 bid may truly embody the spirit and passion of the Korean people.

The Chosun Ilbo further reports that 쐅oodwill ambassadors (mostly celebrities) are being sent out to promote Busan abroad, including actor Jung Jun-Ho.(4)

The final announcement for the host city will take place in 2013.(4) Before that time, Busan will have to pass through preliminary eliminations and rigorous evaluations by the IOC. We will have to wait and see how Busan fares against its competitors.

1. "Bids for the 2010 Winter Olympics -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 08 July 2009 .

2. "Bids for the 2014 Winter Olympics -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 08 July 2009 .

3. "2020 Summer Olympics -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 08 July 2009 .

4. "Busan Launches Bid for 2020 Summer Olympics." The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea. 08 July 2009
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Beom-seok Sohn

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