2018 Winter Olympics Go to South Korea

By Jere Longman, New York Times

The Winter Olympics were awarded for the first time to South Korea on Wednesday as the alpine resort of Pyeongchang was named as host of the 2018 Games.

 Pyeongchang had been a persistent candidate for a decade, finishing second to Vancouver in voting for the 2010 Games and to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Olympics. It built its successful candidacy for 2018 on a proposal to expand access to winter sports in the populous and lucrative Asian market.

The South Korean city won overwhelmingly on the first ballot of a secret vote of delegates of the International Olympic Committee, receiving 63 votes, compared with 25 for Munich and 7 for Annecy, France. Voting took place at a general assembly of the I.O.C. in Durban, South Africa.

“There is maybe a lesson in the achievement of Pyeongchang,” Jacques Rogge, the president of the I.O.C., said at a news conference. “Patience and perseverance have prevailed.”

Pyeongchang will be the third Asian city to host the Winter Games, after Sapporo, Japan, in 1972 and Nagano, Japan, in 1998. Its budget for 2018 was far greater than the other bids — $1.5 billion for the actual Games and $2 billion to $6 billion for infrastructure projects, according to news reports, as Pyeongchang seeks to become a regional winter sports hub.

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