“It was a great international event. Koreans should be proud,” said Bill Pennington, reporter for The New York Times who has experienced the Olympic Games 10 times, picking the PyeongChang Games to be the best Olympic Games he experienced. Indeed, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics mesmerized the keen foreign press.
The Dong-A Ilbo surveyed and interviewed 42 foreign reporters it met at the PyeongChang Main Press Center. Eleven categories – overall assessment, stadium facility, management of competitions, transportation, accommodations, food, conveniences, atmosphere of the Olympic Games, comparison with other Olympic Games, inspiring moments, and aspects that need improvement – were surveyed. Reporters from seventeen countries such as the United States, Britain and Japan participated in the survey. They have experienced the Olympic events on an average of 4.2 times.
Foreign reporters were “mostly satisfied” and gave 4.12 points out of 5 points for overall assessment of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. They gave a high score to the management of games and the facility of the stadiums. Management of games received the highest score of 4.4 points in the survey. It was even higher than the stadium facility of 4.2 points.
“I have been reporting the Olympic Games for more than 30 years and I have never seen facilities and management of the games that are as good as the PyeongChang Olympics,” said Helen Elliott, an expert reporter of The Los Angeles Times who reported the Olympic Games sixteen times in total.
Conveniences (3.8 points), transportation (3.8 points) and accommodation (3.7 points) were all close to 4 points. Some pointed out that foreigners had trouble gaining transportation information. The lowest point was for food, with 3.2 points. There was a lack of restaurants adjacent to the stadiums and accommodations, and the type of food within the facility was also limited.
More than half of the foreign reporters stated that “friendly Koreans” and “devoted volunteers” were the most inspiring. Nonetheless, there were negative assessments as well. “The atmosphere of the Olympic Games did not seem sufficient. It would have been better if there were more audiences in stadiums for events other than the ice events,” said a reporter from Britain.
Seong-Mo Kim firstname.lastname@example.org · Bo-Mi Im email@example.com