Durban, South Africa – It’s third-time lucky for PyeongChang – the tiny South Korean mountain resort town has finally won an Olympic Games bid.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted Wednesday to hold the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang and the nearby coastal city of Gangneung after twice rejecting bids for the 2010 and 2014 editions. It only took one ballot for the IOC members to give PyeongChang the majority of their support this time around.
IOC President Jacques Rogge made the announcement at the organization’s 123rd session being held at the International Convention Centre in Durban, South Africa.
PyeongChang defeated competing bids from Annecy, France and Munich, Germany for the prize.
Since PyeongChang began pursuing the Games in 2001, over $1 billion (USD) has been spent in the province on sport and accommodation infrastructure, and the underwriting of the Dream Program that introduces youth from countries without snow to winter sports.
Previous bids, though failed, produced considerable legacy including the $1.4 billion Alpensia resort that has world class ski venues, a ski jump tower and an Olympic Stadium. Olympic Champion figure skater Yuna Kim is considered a living legacy of the bid having achieved here dreams through the “Drive the Dream” program that helped develop her skills.
Earlier in the day the PyeongChang team conveyed a very emotional but effective presentation that include South Korean President Lee-Myung Bak who guaranteed to the IOC that his government would do whatever it takes to prepare a Games.
“We’ll make you proud,” he said.
South Korea is now committed to spend another $8 billion for infrastructure and the organization of the Games.
The defining moment of the PyeongChang’s 10-year quest for the Games came during the presentation when Ambassador Jin-Sun Kim, the leader of the first two campaigns said “I believe it is my destiny to stand before you for the third time.”
Then, he paused briefly while overcome with emotion.
Watch GamesBids.com for updates as this story quickly develops.