Earlier this week, we wrote about Korean American skier Toby Dawson along with other Korean athletes who were rigorously campaigning to bring the Winter Olympics to Korea. Although a cliché, it seems that the third time really is the charm!
This morning, the International Olympic Committee announced that voting was over after only one round of voting. Pyeongchang beat out Munich, Germany and Annecy, France to become the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Unlike its bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang seemed to be the clear favorite going into the election. In fact, the day before voting, one official claimed that Pyeongchang had already secured 54 votes. IOC President Jacques Rogge confirmed that Pyeongchang had achieved an outright majority.
Pyeongchang’s slogan, “New Horizons,” proves to be a compelling argument, emphasizing Korea’s desire to expand the Winter Olympics into unfamiliar territory. Until now, Japan has been the only Asian country to host the Winter Olympics (Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998). The IOC’s decision to host the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, combined with the growing popularity of winter sports after Yu Na Kim’s gold medal win in Vancouver, will hopefully accelerate the growth of winter sports in not only Korea, but all of Asia.
[Photos: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters; Associated Press]