Third time’s a charm for PyeongChang
July 8, 2011
Third time was the charm for the city of PyeongChang and South Korea.
On Wednesday, PyeongChang was selected as the site for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee in Durban, South Africa. After being shut out in bids for 2010 and 2014, South Korea was finally given its shot to showcase the Winter Olympiad. PyeongChang beat Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, the other finalists up for selection.
"PyeongChang will provide a unique Olympic atmosphere with the compact layout of skiing and snowboarding venues in and around the host city," said Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the United States Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) in a release. "The proximity lends itself to both fans’ and athletes’ ability to embrace the Olympic spirit. The entire nation has put an immense amount of effort behind the bid and we’re confident we will see the same enthusiasm during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games."
Parkite Ted Ligety would be returning to the site of his first World Cup victory (giant slalom in 2006) at the projected alpine venue for 2018, YongPyong.
"YongPyong was a definite highlight of my career in a lot of ways," Ligety said in the same release. "Up until that point I hadn’t been on the giant slalom podium, let alone won a World Cup. Going to new places is one of the highlights of our sport and it’s cool to think about bringing such a big event like the Olympics to a new part of the world."
PyeongChang is 110 miles east of the South Korean capital city of Seoul. It will be the first time an Asian country has hosted the Olympic Winter Games since Nagano, Japan, in 1998. South Korea hosted the 1988 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
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Toby Dawson, a Korean-born American who won a bronze in freestyle moguls in skiing at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, was a presenter for the PyeongChang bid.
"Sports can be transformative for a young person. It certainly was for me," Dawson said at the announcement. "Skiing gave me the confidence to believe in myself. Giving young Koreans access to winter sports facilities for the first time that’s what this bid is all about it’s about hope. I came here today to achieve two things: First, to honor my home country my people. Secondly, I want to speak for future generations in Korea. I hope you give them the same chance that I received in America in 1981 to participate, to excel and to succeed. Your support will change the lives of millions of kids. There’s no greater honor than representing your country at the Olympic Games."