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Date 17.01.13 Hit 662
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UnYong KIM's Memoir 77(Graphys)


              


77  People that Gave me Strength 2

 

 


 


  
 
- Chun Doo-hwan Former Korean President 

The relationship with former Korean President Chun Doo-hwan can be described as “Foggy and then clear.” From my days at the Cheongwadae, I had seen him several times.

With the military regime in the 1980’s, I had suffered a great deal from his men. I was almost forced to resign from the Taekwondo Association and World Taekwondo Federation, and he did not easily agree with my becoming an IOC member. In the end Samaranch strongly urged Chun to agree. Samaranch said he did not need Korea President's  consent. But he thought it was better to get the consent as Korea is the host of the 88 Olympics. At the last minute, it was the IOC's attitude to host the Olympics without Korean IOC member.

However, after he accepted recommendation, things worked out quite smoothly. He presented a gallant type of leadership. After he understood the situation he was swift to make decisions. The the President of Seoul Olympic O.C. was from military group like Roh Tae-woo and Park Se-jik, and I was 1st Vice President. As IOC coordination committee did not exist and I am a member of the IOC, I did bold decision and handling of all matters with responsibility. Military leaders did not interfere with my work. Samaranch said that President Chun's  personality has contributed a lot to the preparations of the Olympics.

There were problems as well. Prior to the Seoul Olympics, the Soviet Union requested to dock their boat at Inchon, to provide a place of rest for their team including athletes and extra officials. This was the first Olympics for Korea, and it was inexperienced. Even making the suggestion of docking a Soviet ship had never before been made in the history of Korea.

제1회 월드게임(미국)에서 돌아와 청와대로 전두환 대통령 예방.jpg
▲ Visiting Chungwadae after 1st World Game in 1981, USA

“Because this has never been done before, it could not be allowed.”
“If so, the USSR may reconsider participating in the Seoul Olympics.”
Dispute followed one after another. As the negotiations dragged on, secret negotiations with the Soviet Union continued in Tokyo. The USSR stood firm, repeating that if the ship wasn’t allowed to dock, then it would consider not participating in the Olympics.” Korea, as the host country, could not delay decisions anymore. If the Soviet Union and other communist countries were absent, the Olympic Games in Seoul would be a failure and the value would be faded.

As 1st vice president of the organizing committee and IOC member, I personally visited President Chun Doo-hwan. Everyone was scared and did not want to report to the President Chun. I said, “Same examples can be found at the Melbourne, Montreal, and the LA Olympics. Also, the USSR promised not to carry out any acts of espionage. The U.S and Japan say, “If they were to spy on Korea, using the satellites would be enough without docking the ship.” They said that they will respect the Olympic Charter and the laws of Korea.

Chun replied, “If they will respect the Olympic Charter and the laws of Korea, then I will allow it.” He gave OK instruction the call right away.
As informed me in mid-December in advance, On January 10th, 1988, the USSR officially announced it is participation in the Seoul Olympics. President Chun always made positive decisions quickly after he comes to grips with the situation.

- Kim Young-sam Former President

President Kim Young-sam’s support was the single most important reason that made the 2002 World Cup and the Busan Asian Games possible. My first impression of President Kim Young-sam was that he was decisive and progressive, and honest.
While hosting the Busan Asian Games, he said, “I haven’t really done much for Busan my hometown. It is the 2nd largest city in the country, and the largest port city. How would it be for Busan to host the Asian Games?” At that time, Kaohsiung of Taiwan boasted Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves and made many good suggestions.

청와대에서 IOC 사마란치 위원장이 김영삼 대통령에게 올림픽훈장 금장 전수.jpg

▲ Samaranch IOC President
awarded President KIM an Olympic Gold Order

The next incident was during the bidding for the FIFA World Cup. When I asked Samaranch for cooperation in helping Korea host the World Cup, Samaranch suggested co-hosting the event because Havelange wouldn’t budge. After the co-hosting was confirmed he phoned me to deliver the news to me immediately. President Kim Young-sam put in a lot of effort in the hosting of the two events, and especially played a decisive role in the co-hosting of the World Cup.

After the Atlanta Olympics were over, an event was prepared for the Korean team. When President Kim asked badminton player Bang Su-hong if there were any difficulties in training, Bang answered, “There are no badminton courts.” Then President Kim asked me how much it would cost, so I said, “Not only badminton courts, but there isn’t any handball courts either, and it would cost about 25 billion won.” That was how the six badminton courts and handball court were built for 15 billion won.

The handball held the international championships. I donated to the Chuncheon area in Gangwon province, and built an indoor ice skating rink with a current 400m track. And except for the practice time of the representative player, it opened to the public all year round.

Winter sports can not do anything without facilities. After 10 years, we could see the best player Lee Sang-hwa of Speed Skating, Kim Yun-a Figure Skating etc. Immediately after the construction, the Sprint World Speed Skating Championships were held, and Cingquanta International Ice Skating Association President said that only the Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) had the Olympic level indoor ice skating rink.





 



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