The Winter Games is a global event that pits the best winter athletes against each other every four years in a variety of events like snowboarding, skiing, and figure skating. In 2011, PyeongChang South Korea was selected as the host city for the 2018 Games. This marks only the second time that the Games have ever been held in the country of Korea.
The Lead-Up to PyeongChang’s Selection
PyeongChang has been involved in the bid process for the past two Winter Games. In 2014, the city lost out to Sochi, Russia and in 2010 it lost to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. PyeongChang, South Korea won its bid for the 2018 Winter Games by a solid margin, winning 63 votes from the International Olympic Committee: runner-up Munich, Germany only received 25 votes. Today, construction is already underway on facilities to be used for the 2018 Games in PyeongChang. The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games (POCOG) was established in October of 2011: Jin-Sun Kim, a former South Korean governor, was elected to be the CEO and President of POCOG. Kim also served as the Special Ambassador for the city’s bid to host the Games.
Expectations from PyeongChang
PyeongChang, South Korea is currently in the process of building up its infrastructure to host the games. New train and highway connectors are being built that lead from Seoul, the capital of the country, to the Olympic region in PyeongChang. In November, the Olympic Coordination Commission will be making a visit to PyeongChang to check in on the status of the country’s preparations. According to the International Business Times, the cost of the 2018 Games in PyeongChang South Korea is expected to be just a fraction of the cost of the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. The projected cost of the 2018 games is around $7 billion, while the games in Sochi reportedly cost more than $50 billion.
Notably, South Korea has stated that athletes from neighboring North Korea would be welcome at the games. The two countries have had a number of political and military disputes over the past decades. Both South Korea and North Korea have some room for improvement in terms of their performance at the games: North Korea failed to qualify for the 2014 games and has not won a medal in the Winter Games since 1992, while South Korea is coming off a 2014 performance that saw the country win only 8 medals, its fewest total since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
The upcoming 2018 Games in PyeongChang South Korea will be a notable event for countries all over the world, but especially for its host country. These games give South Korea a chance to become a much more prominent player in global athletics and step out of the shadow of China and Japan, its larger Asian neighbors.
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