Pyeongchang in South Korea to Host 2018 Olympic Winter Games (VIDEOS)
By Vittorio Hernandez | February 24, 2014 2:27 PM EST
South Korean Figure Skater Yuna Kim
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The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics ended on a sour note, particularly insofar as figure skating is concerned, because of the furor created by the gold medal awarded to Russian skater Adelina Sotnikova, while the silver went to South Korean athlete Kim Yun-Na.
South Koreans are petitioning a reversal of the decision which is said to be quite unlikely because there is no formal complaint, except for an online petition with Change.org that caused the Web site to almost crash on Friday.
The scenario of reversing the decision appears unlikely, but the question that may crop up on followers of ice skating is would South Korea get even with Russia for the alleged favouritism and do the same when it hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
However, Kim has announced her retirement from sports, making another showdown between her and Adelina in Pyeongchang impossible.
The South Korean city, not to be mistaken for similar-sounding Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, was formally introduced on Sunday at the venue of the next winter games at the closing rite of the Sochi games.
South Korea gave a preview of what to expect with a musical sequences at the closing of the Sochi Games on Sunday.
The organisers of the 2018 Winter Games vowed that the Pyeongchang games would be better since Sochi was hit by several controversies, including twin toilets, poor water quality and even lack of snow.
Kim Jin-Sun, chief of the Pyeongchang organising committee, said the host city has a genuine winter resort with Alpine snow conditions, unlike in Sochi where temperatures reached 20 degrees Celsius.
"Recently the interest in winter sports and related industries has grown dramatically. Asia has a great potential to become a huge market for winter sports. In that sense, I believe Pyeongchang will offer a window of opportunity for Asia," Yahoo sports quoted Kim.
He disclosed that the 2018 host city already has most support facilities in place with an infrastructure budget of $7 billion, including the construction of a high-speed rail link between the capital city, Seoul, and Pyeongchang which is 180 kilometers away and near the North Korean border. The rail link would reduce travel time between the two cities to only 50 minutes.
It is a county in Gangwon province, home to several Buddhist temples. Its Alpensia ski resort has 6 slopes for skiing and snowboarding, running up to 1.4 kilometres long, and the resort is open all year round.
Pyeongchang beat Annecy in France and Munich in Germany in bidding to the host city of the next winter games. It is South Korea's third try after losing the bid in 2010 to Vancouver, Canada and 2014 to Sochi.
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