Earlier this year the United States Sports Academy honored South Korean figure skater, Kim Yu-Na, with its 2010 Female Athlete of the Year award. On July 6, 2011, her home country won an honor of its own. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), meeting in Durban, South Africa, voted to award the 2018 Winter Games to Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The South Korean bid won in the first ballot, the first time this has happened since 2001. There were 63 votes cast for Pyeongchang versus 25 for Munich, German and 7 for Annecy, France.
The South Korean Olympic Committee had lost on second ballot votes for both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. The third time did indeed turn out to the charm for their bid.
South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, hosted the 1988 Summer Games. The July 6 vote marks the fourth time an Asian venue has been selected as a site for one of the Olympic Games. Japan hosted the 1964 Summer Games and the 1998 Winter Games.
Kim Yu-Na is widely viewed as the greatest living figure skater. She will be 27 when the 2018 Winter Games begin. Whether or not she is still competing at that time, there is little doubt that her prestige contributed to the South Korean victory.
Sports are now truly worldwide in scope. South Africa hosted the FIFA Men’s World Cup for soccer in 2010. Brazil is hosting this event in 2014 and also is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics. South Korea and Japan co- hosted the Men’s World Cup in 2002. China hosted the Women’s World Cup in 1995 and in 2003 and the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Middle Eastern nation, Qatar, is hosting the 2022 Men’s World Cup.
The United States Sports Academy is involved in sport education programs in several of the above nations, as well as in other nations around the world. The Academy is currently involved in setting up education programs in Asia and in the Middle East for which faculty and staff will be needed. Talks are underway to set up some type of sport education program in an African nation.
Many of the individuals involved in leading South Korea’s successful bid for the 2018 Winter Games have degrees from the Academy. Anyone who is truly interested in becoming involved in the field of sport education and management around the world should check out the various programs offered by the Academy. This can easily be done by going to http://ussa.edu.