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Friday November 17, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

94 nations are interested in competing at Pyeongchang but with poor ticket sales spectators are expected to be down. NEW & UPDATED



The President of the International Ski Federation - FIS - Gian Franco Kasper, says he expects poor spectator numbers.

He is also head of the Association of Winter Olympic International Federations and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board.

He told FrancsJeux he believes European spectators have been put off from travelling to South Korea by the current political tensions.

However the United Nations has recently voted for an Olympic Truce.

At Sochi in 2014 88 countries were represented - a rise of two on Vancouver 2010.

One of the countries present might by North Korea but no formal announcement has been made.

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified for the pairs competition last month.

Any attendance by North Korea athletes would ease safety concerns and could lead to more ticket sales.

Currently only around a third of tickets have been sold - much less than the amount at the same time ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

With regard to the spectators it is thought the numbers at the skiing events, where South Korea does not have a strong heritage, will be small.

However expect full houses for the speed skating where South Korea has a number of world class athletes.

It is thought that school children will be given tickets to the events where there are plenty of spare tickets.


In September South Korea's National Federation of Banks agreed to buy ₩1 billion (£691,000) worth of tickets following news of poor ticket sales.

Last month the Federation donated ₩20 billion (£13.8 million) to Pyeongchang  2018 to ensure the success of the Winter OIympics and Paralympics.

The Korea Federation of Savings Banks has now also donated ₩1.5 billion (£1 million).

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