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1ST LEAD South Korean Olympic organizer resigns to focus on business By Dirk Godder, dpa

Europe
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Seoul (dpa) - The chief organizer of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, resigned from his post Tuesday to focus on business interests, the local organizing committee POCOG has confirmed.

Cho Yang Ho‘s resignation is effective immediately and comes less than two years before the start of the Winter Games. He had taken over the Pyeongchang committee in August 2014 and was near the end of his two-year term.

A POCOG statement said that Cho needed to devote more time to his corporate responsibilities as chairman of the South Korean conglomerate Hanjin Group. Hanjin Shipping, part of the conglomerate and the nation‘s largest container carrier, is dealing with "critical financial issues."

Cho was praised by POCOG for "putting the Organizing Committee back on track" regarding issues such as venue construction, the location of the Olympic Stadium and recruiting sponsors.

"For the past two years, I have truly put forward my very best efforts to work with every member of the Organizing Committee to prepare a successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018," Cho said.

"I can proudly say that POCOG has become a strong team, and the challenges we have overcome have allowed us to achieve success at our first official test events this past February."

Cho took the reigns as POCOG president after the resignation of Kim Jin Sun in July 2014. Organizers have been criticised for construction delays and financial issues but test events began as planned this this year with downhill and super-g races in the men‘s Alpine skiing World Cup.

A total of 28 test events are planned overall before the Olympic Games begin February 9, 2018.

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