South Korea is mooting the idea for submitting a joint bid with neighbours North Korea to host the Summer Olympics in 2032. The suggestion, to co-host the 2032 Olympics in Seoul and Pyongyang, was put forth by South Korean sports minister Do Jong-Hwan during a meeting with his Japanese and Chinese counterparts.
The idea is expected to be tabled to the North Korean officials at the third inter-Korean summit next week for formal discussions regarding the joint Olympic bid. The move comes as a part of continuous efforts by the two countries for easing tensions and promote peace and brotherhood in the Korean peninsula.
Jong-Hwan has also proposed an idea for on a unified Korea team for Tokyo 2020 with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “We will ask for support from the Olympic organisers about expanding unified Korean teams and having a joint parade at Tokyo 2020,” he said.
“In order to form joint teams, we need to work together from the qualifying stages. We’ll speak with sports associations and athletes. I’ll also talk with the North Korean sports minister about this.”
The two Korean nation, thus, are set to join Australia, Chinese city of Shanghai, Germany, Indonesia and India among those who have expressed interest to put forward a bid for 2032 Summer Olympics.
Neither Indonesia nor India have hosted an Olympic Games before, while China’s capital Beijing hosted the Summer Games in 2008 and will host the Winter edition in 2022. Australia last hosted the Games in Sydney in 2000.
However, Indonesia has strengthened their ability to host a multi-sport event by showcasing the recently concluded 13th edition of Asian Games in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
Jong-Hwan has also revealed the plans for a pan-Asian bid to host FIFA World Cup 2030 with North Korea, China and Japan – although he claimed that China have hopes of hosting the tournament wholly on its own.
“We heard that China is going to make a bid to host the World Cup, but we want to make a proposal of co-hosting the event with Asian neighbours like North Korea, China and Japan. In this way, we can maintain the current atmosphere of peace and can connect Northeast Asia peace with peace on the Korean Peninsula,” he added further.
South Korea has experience of co-hosting major events, having previously shared the FIFA World Cup event with Japan in 2002. A successful Summer Olympics bid would be its first since 1988.
South Korea recently hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang – the first of three consecutive Olympic events being held in Asia, with Beijing 2022 following the Tokyo Summer Games in two years’ time.
Since Pyeongchang 2018, the neighbouring Korean nations have made serious moves at promoting peace and solidarity among the two via staging joint teams at multi-sport events. The two marched together under the unification flag at the Opening Ceremony and, for the first time in Olympic history, competed together as part of a unified Korean women’s ice hockey team.
The two countries then teamed up again at the Asian Games last month to win a historic gold medal in the dragon boat racing event.