This New York Times travel piece follows the transformation of Pyeongchang from one of South Korea's least developed regions (even little-known to Koreans) to an Olympic-ready venue poised to capture the global spotlight.
With tens of thousands of athletes, journalists and spectators expected to descend on Pyeongchang for the Games, it’s also a coming-out party of sorts for South Korea as a winter sports hub, a chance to show the world that it, too, has sparkling-white slopes and a top-notch skiing infrastructure that can continue to attract powder hounds long after the Olympics are over.
This quiet region of pine-covered mountains and potato fields not far from the North Korean border, long one of the country’s least-developed areas, has overcome a number of obstacles just to get to this point. Pyeongchang, largely unfamiliar even to many Koreans before the Olympic bid, was once seen as a sizable underdog to win the Olympics. It finally succeeded in its third bid after razor-thin defeats to Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.