Seoul picked for joint Korean bid to host 2032 Olympics

North and South Korean leaders meet the Unified Korea team players after the women’s preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Center in Gangneung. (FOCUS by Sunghee Hwang)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Seoul picked for joint Korean bid to host 2032 Olympics

  • The Koreas will officially inform the International Olympic Committee of their decision to bid at an event in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday
  • The decision to pursue a joint bid was made following a series of inter-Korean talks last year

SEOUL: South Korea has picked its capital Seoul for its bid for the 2032 summer Olympics, which it aims to jointly host with North Korea.
The Koreas will officially inform the International Olympic Committee of their decision to bid at an event in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday.
North Korea is expected to announce its candidate city later this week — the likely choice is its capital Pyongyang — before or during the IOC meeting, Seoul officials told AFP.
The decision to pursue a joint bid — as well as to jointly participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games — was made following a series of inter-Korean talks last year, as cross-border reconciliation gathered pace.
In a meeting held by the country’s Olympic committee on Monday, Seoul edged out its rival, the southern port city of Busan.
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon said he would ensure the bid serves as an opportunity to “change the fate of the Korean peninsula.”
“If the 1988 Seoul Olympics was ‘reconciliation Olympics’ amid the cold war between East and West and the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics was a touchstone of peace, the 2032 Olympics will be promoted to become the last stop to establish the peace.”
The last time Seoul hosted the summer Olympics, in 1988, Pyongyang boycotted the Games.
But in recent months the Koreas have turned to sports diplomacy to ease tensions.
During the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last year, North Korea sent leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, to express the reclusive regime’s interest in an inter-Korean summit.
The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team was also a symbol of unity in Pyeongchang, despite losing all their games and finishing last.
Kim Jong Un went on to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in three times in the wake of the Games and held a landmark summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.
However, the joint bid poses some difficulties. North Korea is subject to economic sanctions and these are unlikely to be lifted by the UN Security Council unless Pyongyang takes firmer steps toward denuclearization.


From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

Updated 25 April 2019
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From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

  • Race will start in Jeddah and make a stop in Riyadh before ending in Qiddiya
  • Take a look back at the most momentous moments

LONDON: A new and exciting chapter in the prestigious history of the Dakar Rally is ready to be written as the world’s biggest and most challenging rally confirmed it will debut in Saudi Arabia in January 2020.

1977: Inspiration
Biker Thierry Sabine gets lost in the Libyan desert while competing in the Abidjan-Nice Rally. After being rescued from the sands on the verge of death, he vows to share the scale and magic of the desert with the whole world.

1978: A dream come true
On 26 December 1978, a field of 170 adventurers starts its 10,000-kilometer quest through Algeria, Niger, Mali, the Upper Volta, and Senegal. A total of 74 vehicles make it to the finish on Place de l’Indépendance in Dakar, with Cyril Neveu at the helm.

1983: Ickx on all fronts
Celebrities and the best drivers and riders in the world heed the call of the Dakar. The combination is a successful one, with the six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Jacky Ickx and comedian Claude Brasseur taking the spoils in the fourth edition.

1986: Tragedy strikes
Thierry Sabine and Daniel Balavoine die in a helicopter crash alongside pilot François-Xavier Bagnoud, journalist Nathalie Odent and radio technician Jean-Paul Lefur. Gilbert Sabine, the father of the creator of the race, takes over as director.

1992: Africa from north to south
The Dakar takes a break from the capital of Senegal to pit the competitors against the challenge of a lifetime. The drivers and riders have to tackle a route of almost 12,500 kilometers through 11 countries to cross Africa from one side to the other and reach Cape Town in South Africa. Stéphane Peterhansel (motorbikes) and Hubert Auriol (cars) stand atop the podium at the end of the Odyssey.

1998: Peterhansel rolls a six
The biker with a blue bandana emerges victorious from a clash of titans with Orioli and Arcarons to become the undisputed master of the category in the 1990s. His sixth win catapults him past Cyril Neveu as the event record holder. “Peter” has since added seven car victories to his tally!

2000: At the foot of the pyramids
The Dakar marks the turn of the century next to one of the seven wonders of the world: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Reigning champions Richard Sainct (motorbikes) and Jean-Louis Schlesser (cars) both manage to defend their titles against this prestigious backdrop.

2001: Miss Dakar
No one suspects that this will be the last Paris–Dakar. In contrast, everyone sees Jutta Kleinschmidt, who had made her Dakar debut in 1988 on a motorbike, become the first woman to win the rally, this time racing at the wheel of a Mitsubishi 4×4. She remains the only female winner of the event to date.

2009: Rising from the ashes in Buenos Aires
The Dakar picks itself up and crosses the Atlantic to rise from the ashes. A new era dawns with 4 million spectators turning out in force to cheer on the drivers and riders in the majestic landscapes of Argentina and Chile.

2012: Pacific Challenge
After three years with a route starting and ending in Buenos Aires, the organizers break the mold with a finish on the Pacific coast of Lima, Peru.

2014: Dizzying heights
Bolivia becomes the 28th country to host the Dakar. The Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni introduce a new test for the competitors: extreme altitude, which takes a toll on both their bodies and their machines.

2020: Chapter 3
In the wake of its first foray into Paraguay in 2017, the Dakar adds the 30th country to its list. In Saudi Arabia, the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, the competitors will face challenges such as the “Empty Quarter,” a pristine expanse that has never been explored fully before.