News / Europe

South Korea's Pyeongchang to Host 2018 Winter Olympics

IOC President Jacques Rogge (l) with South Korea's Olympic Bid chairman Cho Yang-ho (r) sign the host city (Pyeongchang) contract for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Durban, South Africa, July 6, 2011
IOC President Jacques Rogge (l) with South Korea's Olympic Bid chairman Cho Yang-ho (r) sign the host city (Pyeongchang) contract for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Durban, South Africa, July 6, 2011
Delia Robertson

Pyeongchang in South Korea will host the 2018 Winter Olympics.  The announcement was made at the International Olympic Committee's annual general meeting, under way in South Africa’s eastern seaboard city, Durban.

Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, made the announcement to ecstatic applause from the Pyeongchang delegation.

“The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in 2018 are awarded to the city of  ... Pyeongchang," said Rogge.

The three cities competing for the games - Munich, Germany, Annecy, France, and Pyeongchang - each made final presentations Wednesday, including promotional videos highlighting their attractions and explaining why each would be the best Olympic host for 2018.

Theresa Rah, communications director of the group promoting Pyeongchang, told committee members it is time once again to bring the winter Olympics to Asia.

"Only two have been held in Asia, and none in Korea, so if any region needs replenishment, we humbly propose that we need the winter games in Asia, to nurture the seeds that were planted in Sapporo and in Nagano [both in Japan], so that they, too, can grow and flourish," said Rah. "But this race is not about geography, it is a race about dreams, it is a race about human potential."

Charles Beigbeder, president of the campaign for Annecy in 2018, had said earlier that his city would offer athletes a lasting legacy.

Speaking in French, Beigbeder said Annecy would provide a permanent training center for international and local athletes, for both summer and winter sports.

The Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, emphasized his city's cultural delights.

"Every year we host a little party called the Oktoberfest, which attracts six million people in just two weeks," said Ude. "As mayor, I have the honor of tapping the first barrel of beer every year with this mallet  [he holds up mallet] and of course I would love to tap a big one with you tonight."

Munich  was hoping to become the first city to be selected for both summer and winter Olympics.  Munich hosted the 1972 summer Olympics during which 17 people, including 11 members of the Israeli team, were killed by members of the Black September Organization, a terrorist group aligned to Yassar Arafat’s Fatah.

You May Like

VOA EXCLUSIVE: Myanmar Questions Migrants Found Stranded Offshore​

Officials say it will take three days before they can determine status of people and decide what to do with them More

Russia’s Online Assault Evaporates Internet Freedom

Russia's government is increasingly censoring the web - and the Russian public may be OK with that More

Advances in Wearable Devices Emerge at Asia's Top High-tech Show

Just 45.7 million wearables are expected to ship this year across brands, but by 2019 the market is predicted to grow to 126 million units More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Relatives Call for Release of American Captives in Irani
June 02, 2015 10:24 PM
Relatives of Americans held captive or missing in Iran are calling on the Obama administration to press for their release during nuclear negotiations with Tehran. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Relatives Call for Release of American Captives in Iran

Relatives of Americans held captive or missing in Iran are calling on the Obama administration to press for their release during nuclear negotiations with Tehran. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Texas Floods Test Agencies' Ability to Coordinate in Emergency

The recent floods in Texas have demonstrated the value of emergency management systems to coordinate the efforts of local, state and federal government agencies as well as private relief groups. VOA’s Greg Flakus filed this report from Houston on how the system worked during recent flooding.

Video UN Appeals For $500 Million to Fund Aid In Iraq

The United Nations will launch an appeal this week at the European Parliament for $500 million to support humanitarian aid operations in Iraq. U.N. officials say the existing programs in Iraq are running out of funds at a time when many more Iraqis are getting displaced and need help. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Heat-resistant Glassware Celebrates 100th Anniversary

One hundred years ago, a new brand of kitchenware named Pyrex entered the American market, firmly imprinting its name into the psyche of consumers. It is still being manufactured while the early models are now collectors’ items. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Rescue Teams Try to Save Wildlife Affected by California Oil Spill

Dead animals have been found almost daily since a pipeline failed May 19, releasing thousands of gallons of crude oil into the ocean and beaches of central California, but rescue workers are trying their best to save stricken creatures. From SeaWorld San Diego, the primary care facility for mammals covered in oil, VOA's Elizabeth Lee reports.

Video Legends of the Blues

As blues legend BB King is laid to rest in his hometown, Indianola, Mississippi, fans around the world are keeping his legacy and his music alive. Some of the musicians who played with King and other notable performers put out a recording under the name Original Legends of the Blues. Meet them and hear their music in this report written, narrated and directed by VOA Houston correspondent Greg Flakus.

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs