PyeongChang wins 2018 Winter Olympics
It was no great surprise that South Korea won. It was always the favourite against Annecy in France and the German City of Munich. The announcement was made in Durban at the IOC's 123rd session. See the video of when the announcement was made.
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There were 95 votes available and the South Korean city took 63 with Munich taking 25 and Annecy 7.
"This is one of the happiest days for our country, our people and millions of youth dreaming of winter sport," said the chief of the Pyeongchang bid team, Cho Yang-ho.
PyeongChang had bid for the Games before and the city narrowly lost out to Vancouver for the award to hold the Games in 2010 and then Sochi that holds the Games in 2014.
To have bid a third time they must have been confident and believed they had a very good chance.
Annecy was always seen as the outsider and had been asked to re-draw its bid, while Munich was seen as only having a posibility.
If the German City of Munich had come out on top it would have been the only city to have hosted both the summer and the winter Games.
Not everyone in the resort hosting the main snowsports in Germany events though wanted The Games as we have reported.
A local referendum produced a small majority.
But PyeongChang came out victorious and is now celebrating.
Below is a video as the announcement is made, and the scenes that followed.
"PyeongChang presented a strong and inspiring project that enjoys massive support from the government and the public. I have every confidence that PyeongChang will deliver on its commitment and host excellent Games in 2018," said Jaques Rogge, the IOC President.
The IOC President also thanked Munich and Annecy for their efforts and the quality of their candidatures.
"PyeongChang's inspiring project sets out to have the heart of the Olympic Winter Games beating in the mountains. The South Korean project will leave a tremendous legacy as PyeongChang will become a new winter sports hub in Asia, allowing athletes and young generations to practise winter sports at home, be exposed to the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship, and Respect, and pursue their Olympic dream," Rogge added.
It is hoped the Winter Olympics will expand interest in snowsports across Asia.
The Winter Olympic Games have been held in Asia twice before, both times in Japan; Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.
“We congratulate the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Team and our colleagues at the Korean National Olympic Committee following their successful election as Host City for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As the first Asian city outside of Japan to host the winter Games, PyeongChang will bring the excitement of the winter Olympics to a new audience. We look forward to what we are sure will be excellently organised Games that make Asia and the Olympic Movement proud," said the British Olympic Association Chairman, Colin Moynihan.
Team GB Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Skeleton Gold Medallist, Amy Williams, also welcomed the news.
“Congratulations to PyeongChang on their successful bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2018. It’s great to take winter sports out of its traditional winter haunts of Europe and America and give Far-East Asia a fantastic opportunity to further encourage participation in winter sports. I know the passion that the area has for winter sports and I’m sure that PyeongChang will stage a fantastic Games,” said Williams.
"The 2018 Games in PyeongChang embrace the opportunity to spread winter sports into a rapidly developing part of the world with great potential for participation and generating new enthusiasts," said FIS President, Gian Franco Kasper.
"Through the first Olympic Winter Games in Korea, FIS is looking forward to working with PyeongChang to further grow snow sports in Korea. We are especially excited about increasing the activity in the FIS disciplines to the young generations in all of Asia."
However not everyone is pleased! Chris Drake, the father of the British No 1 racer Ed Drake, is a good friend of ours at PlanetSKI and has just posted the following comment on our Facebook page:
"Oh no, that's a long way and expensive!"
We have the entire IOC voting and announcement on this link.
Meanwhile at the same IOC meeting it was announced earlier this week that slopestyle would be an Olympc event at Sochi in 2014.
Team GB may have some reaistic medal prospects in the events as we have reported here.
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