Close to You

20 Jan

Is a more important factor than for Olympic athletes seeking a training advantage? Of course, humans aren’t horses (and some Swiftians would find that fact depressing), but then all those concerns about smoggy, humid air transcend species boundaries.

As of Thursday, 15 foreign countries had decided to send a total of 499 athletes to South Korea. The teams are to train in some dozen disciplines in Seoul, North Chungcheong Province and Jeju. Egypt has agreed with the Korea Olympic Committee to send about 40 athletes to South Korea in March. Bulgaria and Algeria are considering setting up training camps for all members of their Olympic teams here.

A total of 11 local governments are trying to attract foreign Olympic teams. The Korea Tourism Organization has published a guidebook on training camps and mailed copies to the national Olympic committees in foreign countries.

Japan has reportedly attracted about 20 foreign Olympic teams. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, 150 Swedish athletes in 19 events will train in the city of Fukuoka. Osaka has agreed with the British swimming team to supply a long-term training camp. Hokkaido, where the G8 summit for 2008 will be held, has invited the ambassadors from the G8 countries, and Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi handed them promotional pamphlets.

"Yellowy" Seoul, I guess, would count as a suitable substitute for Beijing in the spring and early summer.

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