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International Games
Friday, September 22, 2017
James & Cipres Winter Games in Doubt

French Sports Minister Laura Flessel has said the country’s team for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games will not travel to South Korea if its security cannot be guaranteed.

This would be a great concern for Vanessa James and her French Skating partner Morgan Ciprès.

Earlier this week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in sought to assure the world that Pyeongchang 2018 will not be threatened by regional tensions following a meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Concerns have grown in recent weeks following a series of missile launches by North Korea, the latest of which flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido last Friday (September 15th).

Flessel told RTL Radio that if the crisis deepened and "our security cannot be assured, the French Olympics team will stay at home".

She did make it clear, however, that no decision has been made at this point, saying "we're not there yet".

The French Olympic and Sport Committee (CNOSF) has today moved to reaffirm that the IOC is following the situation in South Korea "very closely" and regularly informing National Olympic Committees.

"With the safety and the security of the athletes at the top of its priorities, the IOC indicates that nothing at this time leads to believe that the organizing conditions of the Winter Olympic Games do not comply with these imperatives," a CNOSF statement reads.

"The planned operations are on schedule, particularly the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia on October 24, to which the French IOC members and the CNOSF President (Denis Masseglia) have been invited, as a symbol of the awarding of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to Paris and to France.

"The IOC is in constant contact with the heads of State most concerned by the situation in the Korean peninsula.

"It goes without saying that it will take the most appropriate measures for the Games to take place in optimal conditions and for athletes to be able to perform at their best."
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