With a jubilant presentation headlined by figure skating champ Yu-Na Kim and Korean-American bronze medalist Toby Dawson as well as a strong and compact plan for the Games, Pyeongchang captured the bid for the 2018 Olympics. It was their third bid, and their experience helped them win.
Well, that's one way to look at it. If you're from Munich, the city that lost to Pyeongchang, you may see it slightly differently.
"We know that in sport winning is not everything and that defeat does not spell the end," said IOC Vice President Thomas Bach, a German who was one of Munich's bid leaders. "But obviously we are very disappointed. It seems that the sympathy effect for the Korean proposal played its role."
Yikes! The sympathy effect, Munich? That's not nice. Pyeongchang worked hard to overcome their last two losses. Their presentation was moving and focused on what the legacy of sport can do for a country. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Katarina Witt would understand that, right?
"At the moment I am at a loss for words," Witt told reporters. "Obviously we are bitterly disappointed but the decision seems to have been taken before our good presentation today and we could just not turn it around."
Ouch, Katarina. Look, it's awful to have your city lose out on the Olympics you've dreamed about for years. Trust me, I know this all too well. Even when every pundit in the world was saying that Chicago wouldn't get the Olympics because of the political problems between the USOC and the IOC and the IOC's wish to get an Olympics in South America, I held out hope that I'd get to see the Olympic flame burn on the shores of Lake Michigan. That means I was broken-hearted by the my city's humiliating defeat in the race for the 2016 Olympics.
But I got over it, and you will too, Katarina and Thomas and all the other good people of Munich. It helps to indulge in two of your country's best exports: beer and chocolate. Time eases the pain, as does a Stanley Cup championship. In a few years, you'll forget about the disappointment, pain and hole left in your heart from your city not winning the Olympics.
At least, that's what I've been told.
- Katarina Witt