PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics


via Public Domain Pictures

The Olympic Rings.

There was complete silence in Durban, South Africa on July 6, 2011, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Jacques Rogge stepped onto the podium to announce the 2018 Winter Olympics host city. Rogge opened the envelope that had the 2018 Winter Olympics host city’s name and announced PyeongChang. Now the PyeongChang Olympics are only 28 days away, and the expectations are incredibly high.

PyeongChang is a city located in the South Korean province of Gangwon. Resting at and around the foot of the Taebaek mountains, PyeongChang has the perfect weather to hold the Winter Olympics. It snows around 0.11 inches per day, and the temperature is below zero degrees for about 110 days in the winter. This climate makes PyeongChang a great place to hold winter sports events such as skiing and snowboarding. The Yongpyong resort in PyeongChang was the first ski resort opened in South Korea. Yongpyong Resort has received the title “Best Ski Resort” in 2013 and 2014 at the World Ski Awards. Eighty percent of the locations for the games are all ten minutes away from the Olympic Village. Travel from Seoul to PyeongChang used to take 2 to 2 and a half hours, but thanks to high-speed trains, it is now possible now to travel from Seoul to PyeongChang in just one hour. Before PyeongChang had obtained the 2018 Winter Olympics, it lost two bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. The 2010 Winter Olympics was awarded to Vancouver, and the 2014 Winter Olympics was given to Sochi. Although PyeongChang lost two times, Korean authorities looked through their past failures thoroughly and presented an improved bid for the third time. PyeongChang won the 2018 Winter Olympics with sixty-three out of ninety-five votes.

The PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be held from February 9-25, which is a total of seventeen days. The cities of PyeongChang, Gangneung, and Jeongseon will all be used as locations for the games. The Opening Ceremony, the Closing Ceremony, and most snow sports will take place in PyeongChang, while Jeongseon will be the location of alpine speed events and Gangneung will be the location for all ice sports. PyeongChang’s vision for the Winter Olympics is “New Horizons.” It is about creating a “New Horizon” for winter sports and spreading the name of the Gangwon Province and South Korea. The cultural “New Horizon” is Korean tradition mixing with other new ideas from other countries. PyeongChang’s geographical “New Horizon” is allowing more communication and peace between countries such as North and South Korea and the economic “New Horizon” is about making PyeongChang a big tourist city. The environmental new horizon is about wanting to spread the idea and work of keeping the world a better, cleaner place. PyeongChang has many goals for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and one of them is to get rid of language barriers through automatic interpretation and translation technologies. PyeongChang’s other goals are to promote tourism in Korea, promote ICT( Information and Communications Technology), and promote connected industries.

The PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will consist of 102 events with 15 different sports. This will be the first Winter Olympics with more than a hundred gold medals. It will also be the Olympics Games with the most women’s events and mixed events. Every Olympics has a mascot, and the mascot of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is Soohorang, a white tiger. White tigers have long been known to be Korea’s guardian animal. Soohorang comes from three Korean letters. “Sooho,” means protection and symbolizes protection for those competing in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. “Ho” comes from the word tiger in Korean and “rang” comes from the name of a treasured traditional folk song from Gangwon Province. PyeongChang’s slogan is “Passion. Connected.” and it has several meanings. Passion stands for the competitive spirit of the Olympics and the loving heart of the Korean people. Connected stands for how people of all generations can inspire each other through technology.

Though they lost bids, PyeongChang persisted and gave an improved bid. This led to PyeongChang winning the 2018 Winter Olympics, and now, Korea’s vision and goals for the Winter Olympics can be completed. All in all, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is sure to become a Winter Olympics that people will remember.