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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 02:26 GMT 03:26 UK
Sochi given 2014 Winter Olympics
Celebrations in Sochi
Many in Sochi partied all night after hearing the announcement
The Russian resort of Sochi has been chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, beating South Korea's Pyeongchang.

Sochi secured 51 votes at a meeting of International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates in Guatemala, beating its South Korean rival by just four votes.

In earlier voting, the third contender, Salzburg in Austria, was eliminated.

The presidents of all three candidate countries had attended the meeting to plead their countries' cases.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was credited with helping Sochi's bid, after he addressed delegates in three languages - English, Spanish and French.

It is believed to be the first time the Russian leader has been heard speaking English at a public ceremony.

For Salzburg and Pyeongchang, this was their second consecutive defeat. Both had lost out in the bidding for the 2010 Winter Games, which will be held in the Canadian city of Vancouver.

The 20th Winter Games took place in Turin in Italy in 2006.

Joy and disappointment

The announcement prompted celebrations in Sochi, where fireworks were let off above jubilant crowds in the central square.

Despondent schoolchildren in Pyeongchang

Many people partied through the night after the news broke at 0300 local time (2300 GMT).

"We needed this victory," Pavel Ostrovsky told Reuters news agency. "For the whole country, this is a great resurgence."

In Pyeongchang meanwhile, a giant television screen near the city hall relayed the announcement to a dejected crowd, many of whom wept openly.

"It's worse than four years ago, because this time we really thought we would win," restaurant owner Son Chang-min told the Associated Press news agency, referring to an earlier unsuccessful bid for the winter Olympics.

The mood in the Austrian city of Salzburg was similarly despondent.

A small crowd gathered in a city park and jeered as the result was announced.

"It's so disappointing... Hope dies last," Peter Rittinger, a student, told the AP news agency.

'Spectacular show'

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a keen skier, said that in Sochi 70% of athletes would live within five minutes' walk of the venues, so there would be no traffic problems.

Glum supporters of Salzburg's Olympic bid
Salzburg residents did not hide their disappointment

The Black Sea resort has a unique combination of spring-like weather and cold temperatures in the nearby Krasnaya Polyana mountains, which President Putin said would guarantee snow.

"Winter sports are popular in Russia and our sportsmen have won many competitions and have made a big contribution to the Olympic movement," he said.

"But we have never won the honour to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games.

"You know we can turn sports competitions into a really spectacular show and we are good at it."

  • Rome is set to apply to host the 2020 Summer Olympics instead of bidding for the 2016 Games.

    "Our view is that it is highly unlikely that there will be three European Olympic Games in succession," Rome mayor Walter Veltroni said.

    Rome, which hosted the 1960 Olympics, lost out to Athens for the 2004 Games.

    SEE ALSO
    In pictures: Olympic joy and agony
    05 Jul 07 |  In Pictures
    Austria fined for Olympic doping
    24 May 07 |  Winter Sports
    BOA pledges Winter Games support
    19 May 07 |  Winter Sports
    Rogge wants Youth Olympic Games
    19 Mar 07 |  Other Sport...
    Resurgent Russia's Olympic task
    23 Feb 07 |  Europe


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