So the returns are in and, as we all know very well, it’s Rio de Janeiro that has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2018 Summer Olympic Games. But competition to bring Olympic Games to one’s own city never really takes a rest. The 2010 Winter Games are due up soon (quick: Where will they be held? Do you even know?), which also means that the time is coming up to pick the city for another future Winter Olympics, namely the 2018 Games.
Brit Therkildsen of the Danish newspaper Politiken has a brief treatment about how that 2018 competition is shaping up. The short answer: underpopulated. The stimulus for her article in the first place is the fact that the deadline for applications for the 2018 Winter Games passed yesterday, and ultimately only three “cities” succeeded in putting themselves forward. I write “cities” because one of those is Pyeongchang, which is not really a city. “Sure it is!” you might be yelling, “It’s the capital of North Korea! What on earth are those leftist pinkos on the IOC thinking?” No, no – calm down! Pyeongchang is certainly Korean, but South Korean: it’s a “county” in northeast South Korea, not really that far from the “Demarcation Line” dividing the North from the South (they are still technically at war with each other – hmmm), but with “long, cold winters” and plenty of mountains, so presumably possessing what it takes (if you add massive money for construction to the mix) to stage the Winter Games. Plus, this is the third Winter Games in a row that Pyeongchang has officially applied to host. (more…)