PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

805199_60875_2834 With the PyeongChang Olympics drawing near, many people who aren’t familiar with the area might be wondering what the county itself has to offer. PyeongChang has always been a place of traditional Korean culture, adorned with a mountainous terrain and several Buddhist temples. Geographically, it isn’t too far from Seoul, just about 180 kilometers (110 miles) east. Their slogan “Happy700 PyeongChang” is telling of the city’s average elevation, which is 700 meters. There are three different variations of the PyeongChang slogan, including “Best place for health, rest, leports (leisure and sports) – Happy700 PyeongChang,” “The city of nature, health, longevity – Happy700 PyeongChang,” and “Optimal environment for human life – Happy700 PyeongChang.” In the past, PyeongChang was known to have hosted the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games and the 2009 IBU Biathlon World Championships. On July 6th, 2011, PyeongChang was announced as the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Winter Paralympics. This will be the third Winter Games hosted in an Asian country since the 1972 games in Sapporo, Japan and the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan. PyeongChang will also be the first ski resort town to host the Winter Olympics since the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. To prepare for the Olympics, the city has agreed to construct hotels and a world-class ski resort called Alpensia to house worldwide competitors. In June 2009, a ski jump tower has been successfully constructed to its full height, but the city is still making minor adjustments to it. The Olympic Stadium, which lies on the bottom of the hill, is also in its early stage of construction.

36144436055_0753753f07_o The 2018 Winter Paralympics is also taking place in PyeongChang under the official title of XII Paralympic Winter Games. It’s an international winter sports event that is still currently being organized under the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and the event is under talks to take place from March 9th to 18th in the year 2018. Originally, the three candidate cities to have this event hosted on their land were Annecy (France), Munich (Germany), and PyeongChang. The winning bid was announced on July 6th, 2011 at the 123rd International Olympic Committee session in Durban, South Africa. The reason why the 2018 Winter Olympics will be crucial for the economical flourishing of PyeongChang and South Korea as a whole is because foreigners will be able to understand that there is more to South Korea than major cities such as Seoul and Busan. The local government of Gangwon Province hopes to begin on a tourism project related to the Olympics in order to advertise the games and the city as a whole. Through this project, Gangwon Province hopes to offer a variety of attractions and entertainment for new visitors. This is a step towards making these parts of Seoul a global tourist destination as well. The pre-existing tourist attractions of PyeongChang include Daegwallyeoung, the Alps of Asia, Gangneung Jeongdongjin and Jeongseon Arirang. The Olympics can hopefully expand the horizons of South Korea’s overall economy and help encourage the overall unity of different countries by bringing them into one beautiful city.

Julie Kim
K-Herald Korea
(Los Angeles Times Advertising Supplement)