SEOUL – The International Olympic Committee president arrived in South Korea on Tuesday to review the final preparations for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.
Photos provided by epa showed Thomas Bach arriving at Incheon International Airport, from where he took a high-speed train to PyeongChang.
Bach is scheduled to meet members of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee and review the stadiums and other facilities, as well as preparations for the opening ceremony of the Games, which takes place on Feb. 9.
On Feb. 3-4, the IOC president will chair the IOC’s executive board meeting.
The build up to the PyeongChang Games in South Korea has been marked by North Korea’s participation in the event, following an historic agreement earlier this month between Pyongyang and Seoul. The two sides have been technically at war since 1950.
The IOC president has consistently supported North Korea’s participation in the Games and the notion that they could help ease tensions in the Korean peninsula and promote peace.
Although only two North Korean athletes had qualified for the Games, Pyongyang will send a delegation with 22 athletes who will compete in three sports after a special invitation from the IOC.
Both Koreas have also agreed to march under the same flag for the first time since the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, during the opening of ceremony of the Games.
A total of 2,925 athletes from 92 different countries will compete in the Games, and a record number of 102 gold medals awarded, making it the largest Winter Olympics in history.