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Pyeongchang County

Pyeongchang County

Pyeongchang County (Pyeongchang-gun) is a county in Gangwon province, South Korea and the third largest county in the country. It is located in the Taebaek Mountains region, and is home to a number of Buddhist temples, including Woljeongsa. The altitude of Pyeongchang is 700 m above sea level, with some areas over 1,000 m high. The county is around 180 km to the east of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

Olympic Games aspirations

Pyeongchang was the candidate city of South Korea for the organization of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, the 2014 Winter Olympics. This was the second attempt of this city (after 2010).

On June 22, 2006, the number of candidates was narrowed to three; Pyeongchang competed against Salzburg, Austria and Sochi, Russia. In the final round of voting on July 4, 2007, Salzburg was eliminated first, with Sochi ultimately selected over Pyeongchang as host city of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games by just 4 votes.

Previously Pyeongchang bid to be the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It won the first round of votes with 51 against Vancouver's 40 and Salzburg's 16, but lost out 53 to 56 in the final ballot to Vancouver.

Olympic venues and Dream Program

Despite PyeongChang's losses, the region is going ahead with plans to build venues for a future Olympics; officials have all but confirmed that they will bid for 2018. Hotels, a world-class ski resort named Alpensia is currently under construction, and a ski jump tower (though not yet finished) has been raised to its full height and has already become an iconic structure in PyeongChang, giving it a feel of a Winter Olympic town. An Olympic Stadium lies at the bottom of the hill in the early stages of construction. For the first time in Asia, a test event for the IBU World Cup biathlon was staged in PyeongChang in February 2008.

The region has also followed through with its 2008 “Dream Program”, a legacy of its 2010 bid. It has mounted its fifth edition of the sports and cultural program which involved 123 participants from 31 countries who were invited because they live where there is no snowfall and have no opportunity to participate in winter sports.

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