A winter sport mega-event and its aftermath: A critical review of post-Olympic PyeongChang

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Almost two years have passed since the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and this small rural province has now fully returned to its ordinary routine. In this viewpoint article, I present a critical review of the aftermath of PyeongChang 2018. This short essay focuses on three areas: (a) environmental damage and its restoration process, (b) the construction of the sport facilities and their use after the event, and (c) the sustainability of social infrastructure built for the Winter Olympics. The critical appraisal of the post-Olympic PyeongChang reveals that first, the winter sporting competition is more likely to degrade the natural environment surrounding the Olympic venues than its summer counterpart. Second, winter sporting activities such as ski jumping and bobsled are less likely to develop into community sports due to specific equipment and skills required. Finally, because of this comparatively high opportunity cost, the Winter Olympic Games is an excessively expensive event to host. The 2018 Winter Olympic Games may be seen as South Korean cultural diplomacy at its best. Yet, underneath this South Korean winter fantasy, symptoms of post-Olympic tensions, degeneration, and unfulfilled obligations remain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-752
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019


  • Winter Olympics
  • PyeongChang
  • development
  • ecology
  • sport facility
  • infrastructure
  • soft power

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