Pyeongchang wins 2018 Winter Olympics

08:59, July 07, 2011      

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge holds up the card naming Pyeongchang as the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics during the 123rd IOC session in Durban, South Africa July 6, 2011. (Xinhua/Li Qihua)

By Ntandoyenkosi Ncube

South Korea's Pyeongchang won the 2018 Winter Olympic Games with ease as it needed just one round of voting by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)on Wednesday.

Pyeongchang, which is bidding for the third consecutive time, garnered 63 votes to defeat their opponents - Munich of Germany got 25 and Annecy of France 7 - to win by a majority of 48 with all 95 IOC members having cast their vote.

"It spends ten years for Pyeongchang to win, I fell very happy. We will well prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympics," President of Korean Olympic Committee Yong Sung Park told Xinhua after the announcement.

Munich 2018 Bid Committee seemed peaceful at the results.

"Congratulations to Pyeongchang. They were good opponents and we are sure they will stage an excellent Winter Games in 2018. Of course we are disappointed because we came here to become the host of the 2018 Winter Games," Munich 2018 Bid Committee said in a statement.

The three cities made their presentations early Wednesday at the 123rd IOC session.

France which pitched its hope to the resort city of Annecy hosted the Winter Olympics three times. Pyeongchang failed in its bids for 2010 and 2014, losing by three votes to Vancouver, Canada, for last year's event and by four votes to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 event. South Korea has never hosted the Winter Games, though the capital city of Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Games.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak who led his country delegation during presentation said his government has since invested 500 million U.S. dollars towards the winter sport infrastructure. He endorsed his country's bid and assured the IOC committee of his government's support to a spectacular event if selected.

"The Olympic is one of the powerful legacies created by mankind. The game gives our people hope of the future," Myung-bak said during the presentation.

"South Korea wants to give back to the movement and the world. As the president of South Korea I grant you full and unconditional support," he added.

IOC members voted by secrete poll. Members from the countries involved, Rogge as well as the honorary and honor members did not take part in the process.

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