This loss stung everyone connected to the Pyeongchang effort, as many had predicted victory this time around. The Korean city was labeled as the front-runner by media outlets the world over. An IOC evaluation just over a month ago had Pyeonchang ahead of Sochi in all 16 areas under review. However, a last-minute blitz headed by Russian president Vladimir Putin seemed to turn the tide just enough.
It may be difficult to accept now, but this effort is still a triumph for the Asian city. The collaborative effort, in which North and South Korea actually found common ground, displayed the true spirit of the Olympic movement - unity through sport. Citizens united to show the world what a wonderful host this city would be. And from a practical standpoint, Pyeongchang is on the world's map like never before. This second effort to host the Winter Olympics will no doubt buoy any potential comms campaign for the 2018 Games. Lessons learned from the 2010 push surely played a part in this most recent initiative, which many felt was strong enough to win.
In a world where it's getting harder to believe that "it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game,” Pyeongchang's efforts to secure the 2014 Games should be viewed as proof that this age-old motto still means something.