The third time is a charm for the South Korean city of Pyeongchang. It was selected to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday by a vote of the International Olympic Committee in Durban, South Africa. Pyeongchang won on the first ballot, receiving 63 of the 95 total votes, beating out Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France.
Cho Yang-ho, the bid leader, said in an Associated Press article, “Koreans have been waiting for 10 years to host the Winter Games. Now we have finally achieved our dream.”
The South Korean city had unsuccessfully tried to host both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. This will be the first time that an Asian country outside of Japan (Sapporo 1972, Nagano 1998) has hosted the Winter Games. South Korea hosted the Summer Olympics in 1988 in Seoul.
The Pyeongchang Olympic Bid Committee claims to have the “most compact plan ever,” with all venues accessible within 30 minutes of each other. The events will be divided between four main areas. The Alpensia Cluster will host the main Olympic Village as well as most of the outdoor events. The Coastal Cluster, located in the eastern coastal area, will host most of the indoor events as well as the Media and secondary Olympic Villages. Jungbong will host the alpine skiing events, and Bokwang Phoenix Park will host the Freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.South Korean president Lee Myung-bak told the Associated Press, “Pyeongchang 2018 is a national priority of the Korean government and has been so for the last 10 years. I guarantee you the full and unconditional support of the Korean government.”
According to The Korea Herald, the Seoul government has pledged $2 billion to upgrade infrastructure in and around Pyeongchang.
Follow Kristen on Twitter @Call2theBullpen