Posted on 06 July 2011 by Melissah Yang
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]
Posted on 05 July 2011 by Mindy Gee
In hopes of hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Bid Committee announced on Sunday that one of their final presenters will be Toby Dawson, the Korean American skier who won the bronze medal for the United States in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Expressing his commitment to the bid, Dawson promised: “I will do my best to open the Winter Games in the nation where I was born.”
The Korea Times reports that the bid is especially meaningful for Dawson, who was born in South Korea but was adopted into an American home after losing his birth parents in a marketplace when he was three-years-old. After winning the bronze medal in Turin, Dawson announced with his rusty Korean, “Mom, Dad, I miss you,” immediately attracting much attention in Korea. He began his search for his biological parents and finally reunited with them in 2007. According to Chosun Ilbo, the story of his search was made into a documentary that aired in the U.S. in April.
Along with other committee members like Olympic figure skating gold medalist Kim Yu-Na, Dawson seems to be a perfect addition to the team. His inspirational account of loss and discovery fits in perfectly with the team’s slogan, “New Horizons,” and many are hoping that Pyeongchang’s third attempt at the bid will be a success.