2018 Olympics: South Korea Preps for Debut as Winter Games Host

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2012

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 07:  South Koreans celebrate being selected as 2018 Winter Olympic host city at Alpensia Resort on July 7, 2011 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Pyeongchang finally won the Winter Olympic host race after being beaten by Vancouver for 2010 and Sochi for 2014.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Pyeongchang, South Korea was named the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics. It will be the first time South Korea has hosted the Winter Games. The country previously welcomed the world's best athletes in 1988 when Seoul held the Summer Games.

It was the third straight time Pyeongchang made a strong push to win the right to host the Games and was finally given the honor. It beat out Munich, Germany and Annecy, France by receiving the required number of votes in the first round of voting.

South Korea becomes just the second Asian nation to host two Olympic games. Japan has done it three times, with the most recent coming in Nagano back in 1998.

When it comes to the Olympics, it's always nice when some countries that may have been overlooked in the past get a chance to shine. South Korea definitely falls into that category having been passed over in their two previous attempts.

It's the perfect opportunity for people from other parts of the world to get a closer look at the customs and traditions of a different foreign land. By now, everybody knows what to expect from the United States and France, which have held a total of 13 Olympics.

Thirty years will have passed since South Korea's last hosting gig by the time 2018 rolls around, meaning an entirely new generation will be introduced to the country.

As is always the case when it comes to the Olympics, the first hurdle has been crossed, but there are many left for Pyeongchang. Hosting the marquee event takes an extraordinary long-term effort, and that's just beginning.

The New York Times reports the total budgeted cost will be at least $3.5 billion. The city hopes it will continue to host winter sporting events after the games so it isn't money used for only one event.

For most people, it's crazy to start thinking about Olympics that won't be held for six more years, but South Korea worked really hard for the opportunity. Now they have to make sure it lives up to all of their expectations.

The countdown has already begun.