The city of Pyeongchang in South Korea was awarded the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday.
Pyeongchang beat rivals Munich, Germany and Annecy, France, by a mile in the first round in a secret ballot by the international Olympic Committee.
Only needing 48 votes for victory, the city of Pyeongchang received 63 out of the 95 votes cast. Munich received 25 votes and Annecy only received 7 votes.
South Korea had lost by only a few votes in previous bids for both the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.
Pyeongchang’s victory takes the games to a completely new territory in Asia. Pyeongchang will be the first city other than Japan to host the Winter Games. Japan previously held the Winter Games in Sapporo (1972) and Nagana (1998).
According to the Associated Press, Korean delegates erupted in cheers in the conference hall after IOC President Jacques Rogge opened a sealed envelope and read the words: “The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in 2018 are awarded to the city of Pyeongchang.”
“It feel likes the sky is falling. I feel so good right now, at last they are coming to Pyeongchang,” said Dohyun Lee, a 20-year-old Korean-American from New Jersey.
“I am so happy,” said Kwon Heok-cheol, 47, tears streaming down his face. “After two fails at last we have won. We have all stayed together through this, helping each other.”
South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak shook hands with Kim Yu-na, the reigning Olympic figure skating champion, who was in tears.