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South Koreans Expect Successful Pyeongchang 2018, but Few Interested in Games

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Photo: IOC/CHUNG SUNG-JUN

Two-thirds of South Koreans expect next year’s Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang to be a success, a Government survey showed today.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reported that 66.6 per cent of the respondents said the event would be successful.

But only 39.9 percent of South Koreans admitted they were interested in the Winter Olympics.

And even fewer plan on buying tickets.

The Ministry had previously conducted surveys on Pyeongchang 2018, the first Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to take place in South Korea, in March, May and July.

For September, the ministry polled 1,000 South Koreans aged 15 to 79 last Friday and Saturday (September 22 and 23).

In the first poll, only 55.1 percent predicted a success, but the number rose to 62.9 percent in the second poll and 63.8 per cent in the third survey.

On the flip side, 7.4 percent claimed they were pessimistic about the Olympics and Paralympics, while 26 percent were noncommittal.

The Opening Ceremony was the most anticipated event of the Games, with 38 percent of people polled saying they would consider purchasing tickets for it.

It was followed by short track speed skating, at 32 percent, speed skating at 16.7 percent and figure skating at 15.2 percent.

However, only 7.1 percent said they would definitely attend Olympic events, down from 7.9 percent in the previous survey, and 81.7 percent said they would watch the competition on television.

By the end of last month, only 22.7 percent of of the 1.18 million tickets available had been sold.

Only 4.85 percent have been sold in South Korea, even though it was forecast that the host nation will account for 70 percent of the overall total.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Korea Federation of Banks plan to buy $879,000 worth of tickets to try to bolster sales.

The Winter Olympics are due to take place from February 9 to 25 next year and the Paralympic Games from March 9 to 18.

By Declan Mcsweeney

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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