By Duncan Mackay
British Sports internet Writer of the Year

July 22 - South Korea's Government today announced they plan to invest 1.2 billion Won (£654 million/$1 million) to open a new training centre in Pyeongchang to help the country's top sportsmen and women to prepare for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Paralympics and also 2018, which they hope to host.

The Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), will invest the money to provide off-season training opportunities for snow sports including skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh and skeleton. 

The centre, which will be capable of accommodating 500 athletes, will open at Gangwon Province’s Alpensia Resort this summer and again from December to March 2011.

Physical therapy rooms and exercise rooms overseen by specialists from KOC’s Taeneung Training Centre will also be available for athletes.

The Alpensia Resort is one of the principal Olympic clusters in Pyeongchang’s 2018 Games Plan and would be the location of the main Olympic Village and several competition venues.

South Korea are hoping to build on their success at Vancouver earlier this year when they finished fifth in the medals table with a total of 14 medals, including six gold.

Yang-Ho Cho, the chairman and chief executive of Pyeongchang 2018, said: "We thank the Government for this significant investment which will improve our winter sports facilities, help to enhance our athletes’ performance and encourage greater interest and participation in winter sports in Korea and Asia."

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