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PyeongChang to host 2018 Winter Olympics

A wave of eastern ecstasy swept through the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Durban on Wednesday, 6 July as the South Korean city of PyeongChang was awarded the rights to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge read out the name of the winning city just before 5.30pm SA time and the Korean delegation erupted with joy.It was a case of third time lucky for the Korean City, having unsuccessfully lodged bids for the 2010 (Vancouver, Canada) and 2014 (Sochi, Russia) Winter Olympics.

On this occasion it was sadness for the other two cities bidding for the 2018 Games, Annecy in France and Munich in Germany.The voting by members of the IOC saw a landslide victory for the Koreans and only one round of voting was needed.The final vote count 95 votes in all were cast saw PyeongChang being awarded 63 votes, Munich 25 and Annecy just seven.

Speaking after the announcement, Mr Gideon Sam, president of South Africa’s Olympic governing body SASCOC, said: “As South Africans we congratulate PyeongChang and South Korea on their victory. It was well-deserved although all three bidding cities would have been more than capable of hosting the Winter Olympics.”

As far as possible future Olympic bids for South Africa are concerned, Sam also commented on SA Sports Minister Mr Fikile Mbalula’s observation that the door was not closed for South Africa to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

This after the SA government had said in May that they would not endorse a bid for the 2020 Games as there were other more pressing concerns that took priority such as service delivery. The deadline for candidate bids for the 2020 Games is 1 September, 2011.”We will respect any government decision on this matter,” said Sam. “However, should there be a decision to bid for either the 2020 or even the 2024 Games then we as SASCOC will ensure that we are up to the task of providing absolutely all our support to government.”


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