By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
August 5 - Kwang-bae Kang, one of South Korea's most enduring winter athletes who carried the flag at the Opening Ceremony of this year's Olympics in Vancouver, has been appointed as the sports director of Pyeongchang 2018, it was announced today.
Kang has competed in the last four Olympics, twice in bob skeleton, once in the luge and once in the four-man bob, finishing 19th in Vancouver, the best result of his career.
The 37-year-old joined Pyeongchang's bid in May as a member of the Athletes Committee, a role he had been combining with as coach of South Korea's national bobsleigh team.
In his new role, Kang will use his winter sports knowledge and expertise to advise the Bid Committee leadership on progressing Pyeongchang’s Winter Games Plan, provide technical insight about the city’s competition venues, direct the bid’s planning and preparation ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission visit in 2011, and participate in the promotion of the Bid at international sporting events.
He said: "I am delighted to join the Pyeongchang 2018 Bid Committee and to be handed this important responsibility.
"Our focus for the Games is to deliver the best platform for athletes to achieve their maximum potential, and I am committed to ensuring Pyeongchang 2018’s Olympic Winter Games Plan offers convenience, comfort and a great setting for outstanding athletic performances."
Yang-ho Cho, the chairman and chief executive of Pyeongchang 2018, said: "We are very pleased to appoint Kwang-bae Kang in the important role of sports director, and his Olympic Winter Games experience, insight and knowledge will be an asset for the Bid Committee as we look forward to the Host City announcement next year.
"Alongside many other athletes working with the Bid Committee, Kwang-bae Kang has played a crucial role in the development of our Games Plan.
"Our bid is focused on meeting the needs of the athletes and with their advice and support we have created the most compact Games Plan in Olympic Winter Games history."
The IOC are due to pick the host city for 2018 at its Session in Durban on July 6, 2011.
Pyeongchang's rivals are Annecy and Munich.
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