The International Olympic Committee's selection of Pyeongchang, South Korea means the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Asia for the first time since the 1998 Games took place in Nagano, Japan.
Pyeongchang, South Korea
When the word "Pyeongchang" flashed on the enormous television screen that filled a wall in the central square, the crowd burst into a cocphony of singing, cheering, dancing, and hugging.
For this town in the middle of South Korea's snow country, the choice of Pyeongcheong as the central venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics represents not only a triumph for Korea but for the individuals who live here in the shadows of the peaks and valleys where Olympic athletes will be competing nearly seven years from now.
It was like midnight on New Year's Eve here, locals say, only louder and more intense.
"I am so excited, we will make Pyeongchang a number one city," says Shim Seong-ho, a local government worker, breathless and hoarse after leading the throng in six hours of sloganeering, deafening music, and song-and-dance numbers.
The crowd was a cross-section of the town – office workers and day laborers, students and retirees, families with kids – and the sense of camaraderie was universal.
The local government made the occasion one huge blast with snacks simmering on frying pans and more than enough sweet bean cake for everyone. As the evening wore on, confidence grew that Korea, barely defeated in bids for the last two Winter Olympics, would make it this time.
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