Freestyle

Freestyle skier Toby Dawson , South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, Chairman and CEO of the bid committee Cho Yang Ho, Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, President of the South Korean Olympic Bid Committee Park Y.S. (L-R) and members of the Pyeongchang 2018 bid committee react after the announcement of the winning city bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games during the 123rd IOC session in Durban July 6, 2011. Pyeongchang of South Korea won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday, comprehensively winning a vote by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over rivals Munich of Germany and France's Annecy. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

 

South Korea's Pyeongchang was awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday after failing in two previous attempts.

Korean delegates erupted in cheers in the conference hall after IOC President Jacques Rogge opened a sealed envelope and read the words: The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in 2018 are awarded to the city of Pyeongchang.

Waving Korean flags and wearing bid scarves, the Pyeongchang delegates broke into chants. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shook hands with reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, who was in tears.

The Korean city was up against Munich, Germany and Annecy, France.

Pyeonchang beat out its competitors in a landslide.  Needing 48 votes for victory, Pyeongchang received 63 out of a possible 95.  Munich received 25, while Annecy garnered just 7.

Had no majority been reached in the opening round, the city with the fewest votes would have been eliminated and the two remaining cities gone to a second and final ballot.

In their bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, the Koreans had lost narrowly.

Koreans have been waiting for 10 years to host the Winter Games, bid leader Cho Yang-ho told The Associated Press. Now we have finally achieved our dream.

While the games were held in Sapporo in 1972, and Nagano in 1998, Pyeongchang will be the first city in Asia outside of Japan to host the Winter Olympics.

In their presentation to the IOC before the vote, Pyeonchang delegates asked the IOC to reward the country's persistence after 10 years of bidding.

We never gave up, and tried again and listened to your advice and improved our plans, said Kim Jin-Sun, the former governor of Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang is located.

I believe it is my destiny to stand in front of you for the third time, he said, his voice choking. Our people have waited for over 10 years for the Winter Olympics. Today I humbly ask for your support for the chance of hosting the Winter Games for the first time in our country.

His emotional appeal seems to have worked as South Korea steps up to the plate as the 2018 host of the world's most prestigious sporting event.