Yu-Na Kim Celebrates Olympic Victory: Pyeongchang Awarded 2018 Games

Yu-Na Kim

I tend to not get too excited about the awarding of Olympic Games that are light years away.

But this time taking a "whatever, whoever" approach was not an option for me, given that three very prominent Olympic champions were at the forefront of the top three bids - Yu-Na Kim, Katarina Witt and Gwendal Peizerat.

There could only be one winner, but no matter which nation won - I saw it as a win-win situation for the sport of figure skating.

And what a fabulous moment for South Korea when International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge opened the envelope in Durban, South Africa on July 6 and announced that the city of Pyeongchang had won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

It was a runaway victory for the South Korean nation that captured an unexpected 63 of the 95 votes cast on the first round.

Munich, Germany was second with 25 votes while Annecy, France trailed with seven.

"I didn't expect such a large margin of victory. I was just hoping to get the majority," said Yang-ho Cho, head of the Korean bid committee. "Over the past 10 years of bidding, we've learned a lot from the Olympic Family, and we have finally realized our dream."

A teary Yu-Na Kim told the Associated Press that she was “delighted to be part of such a glorious moment. I am lost for words right now. So many people have done so much for the bid."

The 2018 Winter Games are the first to be held in Asia since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

"Pyeongchang presented a strong and inspiring project that enjoys massive support from the government and the public," Rogge told the Associated Press. "I was surprised by the one-round victory and I was surprised by the margin."

Understandably, the Munich team led by Witt, a two-time Olympic champion, was disheartened. “Of course we are disappointed because we came here to become the host of the 2018 Winter Games,” Franz Beckenbauer said in a statement released to the press.

“But the IOC has decided to award this honour to another candidate and because we are a sporting team, we accept this decision.”

The last time Germany hosted an Olympic Winter Games was in 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Annecy bid leader Charles Beigbeder also expressed his team’s disappointment. “We were hoping to be selected but we congratulate Pyeongchang who were great competitors.”

The town of Pyeongchang is located 180 kilometers east of Seoul, close to the eastern seaboard of South Korea.

Every venue is within a 30-minute drive. Figure skating will be held in the icity of Gangneung, a 20-minute drive from Pyeongchang.

A high-speed rail link from Seoul to Pyeongchang is under construction. It is expected that this journey will take less than one hour.

1 Comment

Aug 05, 2011 at 02:21AM John Lee

So blessed... She is one of the most valuable human beings in the history.