Thomas Bach: PyeongChang 2018 was ‘very close’ to being cancelled due to North Korea fears
The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang were “very close” to being cancelled due to security fears surrounding North Korea, according to IOC chief Thomas Bach.
The build-up to the Games in South Korea was overshadowed by a series of missile tests by their northern neighbours, with insults traded between the secretive nation and the United States.
It led to the IOC and Bach fielding questions about the viability of the event, but they repeatedly stressed it would go ahead.
Tensions eventually eased as North Korea sent a team of athletes across the border – with the two Koreas walking out at the Opening Ceremony under a unified flag and competing together in the women’s ice hockey.
"For cancellation of the Games, the threshold is not military action," he continued.
"The threshold is that one country would say we are not going because we do not see there the safety and security of our athletes being guaranteed.
"There, the discussions were not always very easy, to say it diplomatically."
The last time a Summer or Winter Games was abandoned was due to the Second World War.