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INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said today that the governing body has done its part in getting North and South Korea together at the Pyeongchang Olympics — but it was up to politicians to seize the opportunity for peace.
“You know sport cannot create peace,” Bach said. “We cannot lead their political negotiations. We have sent this message — this dialogue — that negotiations can lead to a positive result. Now it’s up to the political side to use this momentum.”
Bach said he’s hopeful that relations will continue to thaw after the “Olympic flame has been extinguished” at the closing ceremony on February 25 in the mountains of South Korea.
Bach compared the situation in Korea to his own experience, having won a gold medal in fencing for West Germany at the 1976 Olympics.
He said that the Winter Olympics had got “off to a great start” and dismissed the problems caused by high winds forcing the first two Alpine skiing races to be rescheduled.
“These cancellations do not worry us at all,” he said. “The international federations, with whom we have talked, they have told us there is no reason to worry. We have two weeks to go. We are an outdoor sport and we manage these kind of cancellations.”
Local organisers apologised today for bus delays of up to two hours affecting 55,000 workers and volunteers who have been forced to wait in cold, freezing weather. Buses have been irregular, slow and there are far too few for those working at the Games.
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