Kim Yu-na skates with kids to promote Pyeongchang

Olympic champion Kim Yu-na was unprepared for a skating session

with South African kids Tuesday, but says Pyeongchang is

”perfectly ready” to host the 2018 Winter Games.

The 2010 figure skating gold medalist had to borrow a pair of

skates before taking the ice at a rink in Durban to promote South

Korea’s bid.

Pyeongchang is considered the favorite over the two other

candidates – Munich and Annecy, France. The winner will be decided

by the IOC on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Kim looked unsteady on the unfamiliar skates as

she led youngsters on a few careful laps. She thinks the

Pyeongchang bid is on much firmer ground despite having lost

successive bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

”I think our team has been preparing this bid for such a long

time and we are perfectly ready and we are completely confident,”

Kim said. ”Pyeongchang has been preparing for the bid for almost

10 years.”

A day before the crucial final presentations to the IOC and the

vote, the bid cities tried to divert attention from the

behind-the-scenes lobbying of IOC members at a hotel in Durban.

The Pyeongchang group sent Kim to a small rink to give

youngsters a few tips in front of a pack of photographers and

television cameras.

Munich, viewed as the top challenger to Pyeongchang, flew in

more than 100 winter sports fans to add some Bavarian color to

South Africa’s east coast city.

Bavaria Prime Minister Horst Seehofer led the delegation, with

German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer expected to arrive in South

Africa later Tuesday.

”The atmosphere on the way over was fantastic,” Seehofer said.

”There’s a real sense of anticipation now and we can’t wait for

the final announcement. Munich 2018 is a sports-driven bid and

that’s why I am here to offer my full support.”