Winter Olympics in South Korea?

24th June 2010, by Chris Gill



The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been considering candidates for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games – and one of the top three is South Korea.

The South Korean mountain resort of Pyeongchang is making its third attempt to host the world’s top winter sports event, after losing out to Vancouver for 2010, and to Russia for 2014. The resort is situated in the Taebaek Mountains in Gangwon Province and is developing its ski area Alpensia – which would become the Olympic Park too, if the bid succeeds. Alpensia was officially opened in 2009, with seven runs at present (served by two six-packs and a quad). There are also five ski jumps. It is one of ten ski areas in the province.

But South Korea is up against two good Alpine contenders: Munich (Germany) and Annecy (France). Annecy is making its first Olympic bid with the smallest budget of the group — about half that of Munich — but has a good range of existing winter sports facilties in nearby ski resorts. Munich, which hosted the 1972 summer Olympics, is also touting existing sports infrastructure in southern Germany, including Garmisch Partenkirchen – its leading ski resort.

However, IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said Annecy was asked to review its sports sites for the next stage of the race to host the games.

“The expert group… decided that the cities of Munich and Pyeongchang should be retained without reservation. For Annecy, it will be retained but we are asking that the concept of its sports sites be reviewed,” said Felli.

The host region is due to be chosen by the IOC’s 115 members in July 2011.

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