Advertisement

Seoul surprises Nagoya for Olympic bid

By
MORLEY MYERS, UPI Sports Writer

BADEN-BADEN, West Germany -- Seoul, picking up late support, scored an unexpectedly easy victory over Japanese rival Nagoya Wednesday in the election to stage the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.

The South Korean capital, the first city from a developing country to be awarded the Games, won by 52 votes to 27, with two of the members of the International Olympic Committee abstaining and one absent through illness.

Advertisement

The three-way fight for the 1988 Winter Games ended with Calgary, Alberta, after four unsuccessful bids, finally emerging triumphant, defeating Falun of Sweden 48-31 after the Italian candidate Cortina D'Ampezzo had been eliminated on the first vote.

Calgary polled 35 votes the first time around against Falun's 25 and Cortina's 18.

Nagoya had started as the strong favorite in its bid, having the impetus of Japan's successful staging of the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games.

But the IOC members, impressed by Seoul's presentation Tuesday, came out in support of the Olympic philosophy of rotating the Olympics and voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Koreans.

Seoul's mayor Young-Su Park, who signed the contract with the IOC to stage the Games, was not surprised at the success of his city's bid but admitted the margin of victory was unexpected.

Advertisement

'I knew we would win,' he said, 'but I never believed it would be by so much. The IOC members have placed their faith in us and we will not let them down. Today is a day Seoul will remember for always. I was so excited it was difficult signing my name.'

The Mayor reaffirmed his Government's pledge to guarantee 'free entry to all and hoped the Olympics would bring about closer ties between South and North Korea.

'When West Germany held the 1972 games in Munich, an agreement was reached in 1971 between West and East Germany. By hosting the 1988 Games we hope this will serve as a great momentum to open dialogue between our two countries and true peace will settle on us.

'Our country is divided at the moment, but we have 5,000 years of history, we share the same language and we are the same people.'

He said the curfew in South Korea would be lifted during the Games, just the same as it was for holidays. Sang-Ho Cho, President of the Korean Olympic Association, also referred to the possibility of closer links between North and South.

He said he had written to his North Korean counterpart on June 19 suggesting competitions between each other with a view to selecting teams representing the whole of Korea.

Advertisement

'I am still waiting for his response. But I shall not stop my efforts. I will continue util he responds affirmatively,' he added.

Cho confirmed that Seoul would include table tennis and tennis in the 1988 Games if the IOC decided to make them Olympic sports when it discussed the Olympic program later this week.

The Nagoya delegates appeared stunned at the outcome and were angered at the presence of a group of protestors from the city, who paraded outside the Baden-Baden casino with placards saying, 'No 1988 Games for Nagoya.'

For Calgary, the waiting was the worst part.

When IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch read out the results of the secret ballot, the Canadian delegates leaped to their feet and let out a wild cheer more in keeping with the Calgary Stampede than with the opulent surroundings of the casino.

'You can tell how we feel, you don't have to ask,' said Bob Niven, president of the Calgary Olympic Development Association. The association's chairman, Frank King, said, 'We have waited for almost 30 years for this. It was Canada's seventh bid for the Winter Games and Calgary's fourth.'

Stressing support for the Games from Calgary's inhabitants, King said 80,000 of the city's 600,000 population had purchased memberships of the development association.

Advertisement

'The money is in place, the blueprints are in place and the enthusiasm of the people is there,' King said.

He said a $30 million Olympic development fund would be set up to help finance events and sites on a permanent basis, starting with the 1988 Olympics, and they would use the fund to help Olympic athletes to travel to Canada.

'If the IOC's travel subsidies are insufficient to allow all the champions who deserve to come to Canada to do so, we will use the fund so that the cost is no greater than if they have been going to Cortina or Falun,' King said.

Asked whether Canada's boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics had been an obstacle, King said the IOC had taken the stance that the whole question of the boycott was now in the past.

He noted that the two winning candidates to host the 1988 Olympics had not been punished for their Moscow absence.

The major surprise in the voting for the Winter Games was the comparative failure of Cortina, which staged the 1956 Winter Olympics. The Italians had been considered Calgary's closest rivals.

'We were very disappointed, especially about going out on the first ballot,' said Cortina Mayor Cesare Lacedelli. 'But we will probably try again for 1992.'

Advertisement

'I am not disappointed, just empty,' a Falun delegate said. 'We did very well, but we lost a tough fight.'

Another member of the Swedish city's delegation, however, was so disappointed he had to wipe away tears streaming down his face before congratulating the celebrating Canadians.

Immediately after the elections, Samaranch sent telgrams to South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to officially inform them that cities in their countries had been awarded the 1988 Olympic Games.

Latest Headlines