South Korea wins 2018 Olympics

7th July 2011, by Chris Gill

PyeongChang, South Korea's finest

PyeongChang, South Korea's finest

PyeongChang in South Korea has been chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, beating Alpine bidders Munich and Annecy.

The news was announced in Durban, South Africa, at the 123rd IOC Session. And the Koreans were delighted with the result, securing 63 of the 95 votes available. The country had been a clear favourite to win the competition, although both Alpine cities put up strong bids to host the event. In the end, Annecy – which has access to a lot of ski areas – picked up only seven votes.

It’s not the first time that PyeongChang has entered the Winter Olympic bid, but their success this week means it will be the first time that South Korea has ever held the event. The resort missed out to Vancouver and Sochi for the 2010 and 2014 Games, but now expects to become one of Asia’s leading winter sports’ centres and follows on from Nagano and Sapporo in Japan.

PyeongChang’s events will be split across several areas. The Alpine skiing competitions will be held in the resort of YongPyong Resort and snowboarding in Bokwang Phoenix Park. Many of the skiing and boarding world’s top athletes have shown their support for Korea’s win, although travel to the country will be more costly than an Alpine venue for our young future snow talents. But it is also be welcomed as a fantastic opportunity to compete in an up-and-coming area.

International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper commented on his delight at the Games’ chosen venue: ‘The 2018 Games in PyeongChang embrace the opportunity to spread winter sports into a rapidly developing part of the world with great potential for participation and generating new enthusiasts. The FIS is looking forward to working with PyeongChang to further grow snow sports in Korea. We are especially excited about increasing the activity in the FIS disciplines to the young generations in all of Asia.’

As well as the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, PyeongChang will also host a number of top snow sport competitions – including the FIS Snowboard Jump and Snowboard World Cups. The ski centre is located in the Taebaek Mountains, about 180km east of the capital city Seoul. It has been developing a base called Alpensia for some time, in the hope of staging the Games. An Olympic stadium and ski jump are already under construction and most of the snow events are expected to take place there.


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