The race to determine the site of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is tighter than anyone had ever predicted. PyeongChang, South Korea was always considered the front runner but Munich has stepped up and has given PyeongChang a run for it's money.
So at the Technical Briefing set for this week in Lausanne at the IOC Headquarters, the PyeongChang organizing committee has brought in it's top weapon; Kim Yu-na.
"I have been a member of this great bid team for many months as part of our Athletes Committee and it is special for me to be able to speak directly to the IOC about our unique vision for the Winter Games," Kim told reporters as she departed for Lausanne.
"Yu-na has been incredibly supportive as we prepared and developed our Winter Games Plan and we now look forward to presenting our bid to the IOC. She has played a key role offering advice about the sports venues plan, and we want to ensure convenience, comfort and a great setting for outstanding athletic performances in 2018," said bid chair Yang Ho Cho in a statement.
The race for the 2018 Games has gotten fierce as Munich and PyeongChang have emerged as very strong candidate cities. Munich has been backed by another figure skating super-star, Katarina Witt, who will give the pitch this week for Germany. "As a former athlete it is fantastic to be here in Lausanne - the birthplace of the modern Olympic Movement. But even more important is the chance we have here to make a real impact on the IOC members just as we enter the final stages of our candidature. After our excellent feedback from the IOC Evaluation Commission last week, we are looking forward to sharing our Festival of Friendship concept," said Witt upon arriving in Lausanne.
Who could have predicted two of figure skating's greatest athletes would go head-to-head off the ice!
Annecy, France is the third bid city for the 2018 Games but is thought by most Olympic insiders to be a long-shot given Munich and PyeongChang's candidacy.
May 18th and May 19th, all three Cities will give their technical pitch to the IOC. The IOC will decide the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics at the 123 IOC Congress in Durban, South Africa July 6th.