French Envoy Affirms Participation in PyeongChang Olympics

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"That was a seminal moment not only for the Olympic movement but the U.S. Olympic team and we recognized them a year ago by bringing them to the White House", he said.

With tensions on the Korean peninsula threatening to bubble over, the government in Paris on Thursday became the first to publicly raise the possibility of skipping the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics on safety grounds.

Karl Stoss, head of Austria's national Olympic committee said, "If the situation gets worse and the security of the athletes is no longer guaranteed, we will not go to South Korea".

Participants in the Games - the first Winter Olympics hosted by an Asian nation outside Japan - had not previously raised safety concerns publicly.

"As of now, no country has officially said it will not participate".

South Korea promised Tuesday that the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang would be safe after suggestions that some athletes may skip the event if tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions worsen.

"The French team will not travel to the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang if its "security can not be assured, we will not put our team in danger", Sputnik quoted Laura Flessel, the country's sports minister, as saying".

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) chief executive Scott Blackmun also issued a statement confirming their preparations are continuing for the Games.

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The IOC has said it is not contemplating any "Plan B" for the Games.

But she also said that "when it comes to the Olympics, I would like to think it's a special event, not like pro sports teams that compete every weekend".

"Our approach has been that the Olympic Games, whether they be Summer or Winter, are good for American athletes", Wasserman said.

"There is not even a hint that there is a threat for the security of the games in the context of the tensions between North Korea and some other countries", Bach said last week.

"Buying tickets was considered one of the ways to support the Olympic Games considering the recent slow ticket sales", federation official Shon Kyung-ae told Reuters.

That led to most National Football League players locking arms with each other and owners on Sunday in protest of Trump's free speech put- down, more players than ever electing to kneel after Trump said players should be fired for insulting the nation.

"We are preparing as if we are going to go", said Blackmun during a conference to start a Winter Games media summit.

No athletes from North Korea had qualified so far, Chang said. The two countries remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

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