US Winter Games award would create challenges for Los Angeles, says official

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There have always been speculations about some countries like Austria and Germany are also thinking of boycotting the Olympics, scheduled for February 9-25, due to Pyeongchang's proximity to the border with North Korea, which has recently fired yet another ballistic missile and conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test in spite of new UN Security Council sanctions.

"If this gets worse and we do not have our security assured, then our French team will stay here", sports minister Laura Flessel said last week.

"In none of the discussions, has anybody expressed any doubt about the Olympic Games 2018", the spokesman said, adding that preparations for the Games remained on track.

There are conflicts between nations - that's not an issue for the U.S. Olympic Committee to get involved in - that is an issue for the IOC and foreign nations to make decisions on.

"Security and safety are the critical aspects of the success of the Games".

The multi-billion dollar Pyeongchang Olympics will be held just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world's most heavily armed border.

But she added: "We're not there yet".

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Salt Lake City, Denver, the Reno/Lake Tahoe area have all expressed interest in bidding for the 2026 Games and joining an global field that potentially could include Calgary, Innsbruck, Stockholm and France.

He added that Los Angeles would support any USA effort to bring the Winter Games back to the country for the first time since Salt Lake City hosted them in 2002.

Coca-Cola, a presenting partner for the torch relay, said Cha and Park will carry the Olympic flame in a group with youths from different walks of life.

South Korean soprano Jo Su-mi performs during an event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY on Wednesday to promote the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday the country is pushing to ensure security at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the JOC, said in a statement on Tuesday that Japanese athletes and officials were gearing up to take part in the Games.

"We are relying on advice from DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and working with the Korean Ambassador and if their advice changes, we will advise our team accordingly but for the moment there is no suggestion that the Games will not go ahead or their safety is compromised".