Lee Hee-beom, the president of the PyeongChang 2018 organizing committee, said Wednesday he thinks there were four things that made the Olympic and Paralympic Games successful.
The 23rd Winter Olympics were held between Feb. 9 and 25, while the 12th Winter Paralympics were staged between March 9 and 18 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province.
"International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach mentioned the word 'perfect' when he spoke about the PyeongChang Olympics, and International Paralympic Committee head Andrew Parsons said the PyeongChang Paralympics were a flawless and exciting Games," Lee said during the 23rd Coca-Cola Sports Awards in Seoul. "But there were 'four stars' that made both the Olympic and Paralympic Games successful."
Lee first mentioned the athletes as the biggest contributor for the Games success.
"Our country was in the top four at the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, and we still remember this because of the athletes' performance," he said. "For these Olympics and Paralympics, many athletes showed inspiring performances and that led to success."
Lee then thanked volunteers and other officials who worked for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than 15,000 have worked as volunteers during the Olympics, and some 5,000 also volunteered for the Paralympics.
"Volunteers, soldiers, police and many other people have sacrificed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games," he said. "Their smile made the visitors happy, and all of them did their job very well and made the safest Games."
Lee said the third contributor was the weather. He thanked the clean air in PyeongChang for creating a good competition environment for the Games.
"During the Olympics, we didn't see heavy snow or rain," he said. "We had heavy snow before the Paralympics, but our employees and soldiers cleared it away nicely. We had rainy weather at the end of the closing ceremony of the Paralympics, but not many were soaked by the rain."
Lee last thanked the sponsors for helping the organizers.
"For the Olympics, our sponsorship goal was to get 940 billion won (US$877 million), but we received nearly 1.2 trillion won," he said. "Because of their help, we were able to prepare the Olympic and Paralympic Games well."(Yonhap News)