Pyeongchang celebrates winning Winter Olympic bid

08:56, July 07, 2011      

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South Koreans cheer and applause as Pyeongchang becomes the host of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Alpensia Ski-Jumping stadium in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do province South Korea on July 7, 2011. Pyeongchang was competing against Munich in Germany, and Annecy in France. (Xinhua/Park Jin Hee)

The citizens of Pyeongchang beamed with joy on early Thursday as their city was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at last after two failed attempts.

A large crowd had gathered from early afternoon in front of the Alpensia Ski Jump Stadium in Pyeongchang to watch the much anticipated announcement from Durban, South Africa, on a big-screen television.

Various performances had been staged to show support for the city's bid to host the Olympic Games. The gathering crowd zealously shouted "Yes Pyeongchang."

The atmosphere heated up even more when the news broke out that one among the three competing cities -- Pyeongchang of South Korea, Munich of Germany and France's Annecy -- won a majority of votes in the first round of a secret ballot of the International Olympic Committee.

When IOC president Jacques Rogge finally announced that South Korea's Pyeongchang would host the games, loud cheers and shouts immediately erupted from the crowd.

Pyeongchang secured 63 of the 95 votes cast when 48 votes were required for victory. Munich received 25 and Annecy seven.

Fireworks were let off above the jubilant crowd to celebrate Pyeongchang's selection as the site of the 2018 Olympics.

"I feel like this is the best day ever in my life. I give a big shout out to Pyeongchang. Pyeongchang will develop into a world-level city. Yes Pyeongchang!" said Kim Sun-han, a 58-year-old resident in Pyeongchang.

Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik joined the festivities in Pyeongchang and congratulated the city on winning the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

"We should be united and work together to let the world know that South Korea further develops and grows into a greater country through the 2018 Winter Olympic Games," said Kim.

Many people continued the festivities through the night, shrugging off the bitter memories of the two abortive attempts in the past.

Pyeongchang narrowly lost out on the two previous bids with the 2010 Games hosted by Vancouver and the 2014 edition that will be held in Sochi, Russia.

It will be the first Asian city outside Japan to host the Winter Games.

Source: Xinhua
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