By Duncan Mackay

Kim_Yu-Na_at_World_Championships_in_Moscow_April_30_2011May 8 - One of the worst kept secrets in the Olympic bidding campaign was officially confirmed today when Pyeongchang 2018 announced that Kim Yu-Na will head their delegation for the technical presentations in Lausanne next week.

The Olympic skating champion will go head-to-head with Katarina Witt, the 1984 and 1988 Olympic champion and who is now the chair of Pyeongchang's closest rivals, Munich 2018, as the campaign really begins to heat up.

Kim had been scheduled to make her international debut as a Pyeongchang ambassador at SportAccord in London last month but had to miss the event after the World Skating Championships were rescheduled because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) briefing is the first opportunity for the 2018 candidate cities, who also included Annecy, to present the technical aspects of the bid to the whole IOC membership and also to answer any questions that they may have.

"I have been a member of this great bid team for many months as part of our Athletes Committee and it is special for me to be able to speak directly to the IOC about our unique vision for the Winter Games," said Kim.

"When we were first bidding for the Winter Games 10 years ago, I was just a little girl with big dreams, hoping to win an Olympic gold medal one day.

"I have achieved that dream and now I hope to help bring the Winter Games to my country and help inspire more young people to take up winter sports."

Yang Ho Cho, the chairman and chief executive of PyeongChang 2018, was naturally delighted that Kim had confirmed her appearance in the Olympic capital.

"We are delighted that Yu-na will be speaking in Lausanne at the IOC technical briefing," he said.

"She is an important part of our 'New Horizons' vision."

Kim_Yu-Na_at_AIPS_Congress_Seoul_March_2011Kim (pictured) did appear on behalf of Pyeongchang 2018 at the AIPS Congress in Seoul in March but her presence in Lausanne is sure to help Pyeongchang's publicity drive.

"Yu-na has been incredibly supportive as we prepared and developed our Winter Games Plan and we now look forward to presenting our bid to the IOC," said Cho.

"She has played a key role offering advice about the sports venues plan, and we want to ensure convenience, comfort and a great setting for outstanding athletic performances in 2018."

Following her recent silver medal performance at the World Championships in Moscow - who stepped in to stage them after Tokyo were forced to withdraw - Kim donated her prize money of $27,000 (£16,000) to support Japanese children affected by the tragedy there.

The donation will be made through UNICEF, as she has been serving as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.

She also donated $90,000 (£55,000) to Haiti earthquake victims last year through UNICEF.

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