Pyeongchang wins the 2018 Winter Olympic bid. // © 2011 International Olympic Committee
South Korea looks forward to hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The event marks the first time in history that a Korean city will host the Winter Olympics, and the third time that the Winter Olympics will be held in Asia. Pyeongchang beat its competitors, Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, by an unexpectedly large margin of victory, receiving 63 votes. Munich received 25 votes, and Annecy received seven.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged and thanked the other competitors for the caliber of their bids, but Pyeongchang impressed voters with their innovative bid and use of the slogan “New Horizons.”
“Pyeongchang presented a strong and inspiring project that enjoys massive support from the government and the public,” said IOC president Jacques Rogge. “I have every confidence that Pyeongchang will deliver on its commitment and host an excellent Winter Games in 2018.”
After narrowly losing its bids for the 2010 and 2014 Games to Vancouver, B.C., and Sochi, Russia, South Korea stepped up its bid for 2018 with special reinforcements, including president Lee Mying-bak and Olympic women’s figure skating champion, Kim Yuna.
“This is one of the happiest days for our country, our people and millions of youth dreaming of winter sports competition,” said Pyeongchang bid chief ChoYang-ho. “We have been waiting a long time for this.”
Already one of the top winter sports destinations in South Korea, Pyeongchang is situated in the Taebaek Mountains. With its alpine climate, the dramatic beauty of its coastline and the energy of a big city, Pyeonchang offers suitable natural conditions to host winter sports. The South Korean proposal for the Winter Olympics is one of the most compact Olympic Games’ plans yet, with all venues set within a 30-minute drive of each other, so spectators and competitors alike will have an easy time moving between events.
“Pyeongchang’s inspiring project sets out to have the heart of the Olympic Winter Games beating in the mountains,” said Rogge. “The South Korean project will leave a tremendous legacy as Pyeongchang will become a new winter sports hub in Asia, allowing athletes and young generations to practice winter sports at home, be exposed to the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect and pursue their Olympic dreams. I congratulate Pyeongchang. The IOC looks forward to collaborating with them over the next seven years.”