By Duncan Mackay

Kim Yu-Na_with_President_Lee_Pyeongchang_January_17_2012January 17 - South Korean President Lee Myung-bak today honoured 13 people, including Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na, who had contributed to the country's successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics as more than 4,000 people turned up for the "National Rally for a Successful PyeongChang 2018".

The rally was organised by Jin Sun Kim, the head of Pyeongchang's new Organising Committee and a former Governor or Gangwon Province. 

During a speech Lee praised the "passion and determination" of the Pyeongchang citizens as the key factors in the city winning the bid on its third attempt and reiterated that the Government would commit its "full and unflagging support" to the organisation of the Games.

He predicted that the Games would become the launchpad to turn Pyeongchang into one of Asia's leading winter sports destinations.

"What I wish is that the Gangwon Province will grow steadily through this [Olympics]", Lee said.

"Rather than organising the Olympics for just one year, it should become a four-season tourist attraction visited by two million or three million people from countries to participate in winter sports."

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