Olympics 2008 News
Tears flow as Pyeongchang gets 2018 Winter Olympics
By Peter Auf der Heyde Jul 6, 2011, 17:04 GMT
Durban, South Africa - In 1984 and 1988 Germany's Katarina Witt won the figure skating gold medal at the Winter Olympics. In 2010 Kim Yu Na won a first-ever figure skating gold medal for South Korea.
On Wednesday, both skaters cried in the International Conference Hall in Durban, but while Kim's were tears of joy, Witt shed tears of sorrow after Pyeongchang had just been announced as the host for the 2018 Winter Games.
The South Korean city beat rivals Munich and the French venue Annecy in the first round of voting at the 123rd IOC Session in the South African coastal town.
It was an overwhelming victory as Pyeongchang received 63 votes, while Munich received 25 and Annecy seven.
The Pyeongchang bid chairman and CEO Yang Ho-cho said he had been very confident ahead of the voting 'but I did not expect us to win this convincingly.'
When Rogge made the announcement, the South Korean delegation in the International Conference Hall in Durban started waving Korean flags and chanted dae-han-min-guk, or Korea.
'This is just so wonderful,' said Kim said as she wiped away tears.
Witt, who fronted the unsuccessful Munich bid, also had tears in her eyes as she was whisked away by officials.
'It is difficult to understand,' she said.
'We gave a brilliant presentation, but possibly the decision had already been reached before the presentation.
'I think the fact that it was their third attempt made a difference.'
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who addressed the IOC Session during Pyeongchang's final presentation, thanked all South Koreans.
'This is a victory for the people of South Korea,' he said.
Pyeongchang has twice before unsuccessfully bid to host the Winter Olympics and in their final presentation to the IOC members earlier in the day mentioned that several times.
The Pyeongchang bid was built around the concept of 'new horizons', promising the IOC an inroad into a new market and giving athletes from countries that traditionally do not compete in winter sports an opportunity to do so.
Yang said that it was a wonderful feeling to finally be successful at the third attempt.
'We all worked so very hard for this, so it is an undescribable feeling to stand here now,' he said.
IOC vice-president Thomas Bach said: 'Sport has shown again that victories aren't everything. But defeats are also not the end of everything.
'We need to sit down and consider whether we should apply again. The first talks will take place next week, but there will be no decision at that stage.'
French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno said: 'It's a disappointment for all the athletes and the hundreds of people who carried this candidacy for several months. That's the law of sport.'
In a statement the Annecy bid committee congratulated Pyeongchang and thanked the IOC for its help and support.
Annecy was 'extremely proud' of its campaign, which had been criticized in France as understated and underfunded.
'The lessons we have learned are numerous and will reinforce French sport,' Annecy 2018 said.
The last time that the hosts were decided in the first round of voting was in 1995, when Salt Lake City won the right to host the 2002 Winter Games against Sion, Ostersund and Quebec City.
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