The Korea Herald


Foreign reports hail Pyeongchang win as ‘crushing victory’

By 이우영

Published : July 7, 2011 - 15:07

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South Koreans celebrate winning the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Yonhap News) South Koreans celebrate winning the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Yonhap News)

Foreign reports have described Pyeongchang’s selection Wednesday to host the 2018 Winter Olympics as a “crushing victory.”

International media noted that Korea’s “dreams came true,” after a decade of trying to win the right to host the games, and remarked on the large portion of votes the country received from IOC members.

The Associated Press noted that it is “the first time an Olympic bid race with more than two finalists was decided in the first round since 1995.”

Pyeongchang received an overwhelmingly large vote of 63, compared to 25 for Munich and 7 for Annecy.

“I was surprised by the margin. Definitely the patience and perseverance of the Koreans has been rewarded,” IOC President Jacques Rogge was quoted as saying in the AP report.

Determination to host the Winter Olympics was portrayed in detail in the official presentation with several quotes from figures such as Kim Yuna and President Lee Myung-bak.

President Lee’s speech in English also received attention as he recalled how the 1988 Summer Olympics affected South Korea’s development and pledged complete support from the Korean government for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Described as a “persistent candidate for a decade” by the New York Times, Pyeongchang was praised for offering the chance to “expand access to winter sports in the populous and lucrative Asian market” in its coverage.

Other reports emphasized Korea’s stature in winter sports. Korea was portrayed as the “Asian winter sports star” by AFP -- the country finished fifth in the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver with six gold medals -- and also “home to Olympic figure skating champion Kim,” indicating her worldwide influence and efforts to promote the bid.

The NYT report told how Pyeongchang would be “the third Asian city to host the winter games, after Sapporo, Japan, in 1972 and Nagano, Japan, in 1998.”

AFP noted that “South Korea has now secured its fourth global sporting event following the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, the 2002 football World Cup co-hosted with Japan, and next month’s world athletics championships in Daegu.”

Many reports paid attention to the joyful reactions of Korean people who continued to celebrate overnight. Described as “Pyeongchang’s perfect night” by the Wall Street Journal, the report said despite all the attention on the president, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and Kim, “the victory belonged to the people of Pyeongchang.”

Cheerful scenes of South Koreans celebrating the victory were depicted by many reports: “the best moments in my life,” “one of the happiest days for our country,” and “it felt like a dream” were some of the quotes used by Reuters to show the happiness felt by South Koreans.

Pyeongchang itself came into the world spotlight as some of the reports focused on the region and winter sports in Korea. A Lonely Planet article “Pyeongchang and beyond: winter sports in South Korea” on MSNBC introduced Pyeongchang and other regions in South Korea where tourists can enjoy winter sports.

A couple of U.S. reports, including USA Today, said that there were some cases where Pyeongchang was mistaken for the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in previous coverage, introducing the region as the candidate city for the Olympics.

To avoid confusion, MSNBC posted a new headline “Pyeongchang (no, not Pyongyang) wins 2018 Olympics” for the AP article on its website to distinguish between the two.

By Lee Woo-young (

<한글 기사> 

<평창2018> 美방송 "평양 아닌 평창이 유치"

"평양이 아닙니다. 2018년 동계올림픽을 유치한 곳은 평창입니다." 미국의 MSNBC 인터넷판은 6일 평창의 동계올림픽 유치를 톱뉴스로 다루면서 "Pyeongchang (no, not Pyongyang ) wins 2018 Olympics"라는 제목을 달았다.

평창과 평양의 영문 표기가 언뜻 보기에 비슷하고 발음도 유사한 점 때문에 마치 북한이 동계올림픽을 유치한 것으로 오해하지 말라는 식의 제목이다.

MSNBC가 이같은 제목을 단 기사는 AP통신의 2018년 동계올림픽 개최지 선정에 관한 스트레이트 기사로, 해당 기사의 본문에는 평창과 평양의 혼동 가능성에  대해 서는 아무런 언급이 없다.

앞서 유에스에이투데이와 AP통신을 비롯한 미국의 주요 언론들은 동계올림픽 개 최지 선정을 앞두고 평창을 소개하는 기사에서 과거 평창이 북한의 수도인 평양과 혼동을 일으키는 경우가 많았다고 전했다.

그러나 AP통신은 평창이 3차례나 동계올림픽 유치에 도전하면서 이제 외국인들 사이에서도 평창을 평양과 혼동하는 경우가 크게 줄었다고 전했다.

외신 "평창은 꿈을 이뤘다"

7일 평창이 2018년 동계올림픽 개최지로 선정되자 외신들은 한 국이 두 차례의 실패를 딛고 유치를 확정 짓기까지의 과정과 한국민들의 기쁨을  상 세하게 소개했다.

AFP 통신은 "평창은 마침내 동계 올림픽을 개최하려는 그들의 꿈을 이뤘다"고 전했다.

AFP는 이어 평창이 1차 투표에서 유효표의 절반을 훨씬 넘은 63표를 얻은 점을 거론하며 형식 면에서도 극적으로 꿈을 성취해냈다고 평가했다.
BBC 방송은 평창이 캐나다의 밴쿠버, 러시아의 소치에 두 차례 연거푸 고배를 마신 뒤 개최권을 따낸 사실을 강조하며 한국민들이 느끼는 기쁨을 소개했다.

BBC는 "오늘은 우리나라, 국민 그리고 겨울 스포츠를 꿈꿔 온 수백만 젊은이들에게 가장 행복한 날"이라는 조양호 2018평창동계올림픽유치위원회 위원장의 말을 함께 전했다.

블룸버그 통신은 밴쿠버 동계올림픽 피겨 스케이팅 금메달리스트인 김연아 선수 와 삼성그룹 이건희 회장 등을 지원세력으로 둔 한국이 일본에 이어 동계 올림픽을 개최하는 아시아의 두 번째 국가가 됐다고 보도했다.