DECISION 2018: Nervous Kim Yu-Na prays it will be third time lucky for Pyeongchang
OLYMPIC figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na claims she is more nervous about Pyeongchang's hopes of staging the 2018 Winter Olympics than she was in Vancouver.
STAR POWER: Kim Yu-Na was the star turn in Pyeongchang's presentation to IOC members ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic host city election in Durban
Yu-Na was the star turn of the last Games - producing a flawless performance that dazzled the judges, wowed the crowd and delighted viewers around the world.
Winning over the International Olympic Committee's 95 voting members will not be as easy with the Korean frontrunner seeing the race tightening in the closing stages, thanks to a strong finish from rivals Munich. Outsiders Annecy are the third city in the running.
"I've trained harder for today than for most of my competitions," she said.
"You can make history today, our people have waited for over ten years for this moment.
"When this dream began ten years ago I was a young girl. I choose a winter sport with good training facilities and coaches in Korea. But many of our athletes travel half way around the world to train for their Olympic dreams. Pyeongchang 2018 could change that forever."
Pyeongchang unsuccessfully bid in 2010 and 2014 - losing out to Sochi by just four votes for the next Games and Vancouver, for last year's event, by only three votes.
They have long been considered frontrunners - their message of a compact Games aided by their insistence it was time to take the Winter Games away from its traditional home of Europe - which has staged the event 14 times - to Asia, where the Winter Olympics have been held just twice, in 1998 and 1972.
Rio played the 'it's our turn' card to perfection to win the race for 2016 summer Games and Pyeongchang have copied the tactic to perfection.
"If any region needs replenishment, we humbly propose we need the Winter Olympics in Asia, to tend the seeds that you sowed in Japan in 1972 and 1998," said bid spokeswoman Theresa Rah. "But this race is not about geography, it is a race about dreams and human potential.
"Uniquely Pyeongchang 2018 offers you both a historic choice and a historic chance."
Pyeongchang's presentation was certainly slick - perhaps the best of the three candidates, a light touch in contrast to their more serious previous attempts that were packed with detail but lacked emotion.
Bid leader Yang Ho Cho wished rivals luck 'but not too much of it' while Korean Olympic chief Park Yong-sung singled out colleague Prince Albert of Monaco for his joke.
"I'm sorry you are spending your honeymoon listening to our bid for a third time," he said.
"But the people of Korea and Pyeongchang have been dreaming of this for a long time. We want the Games."
With seven absentees, 95 IOC members will be eligible to vote in the first round, meaning 48 votes would be enough to win when ballots are cast later today.
If no majority is reached, the city with the least support will be eliminated and the two remaining cities will go to a second and final ballot.
© Sportsbeat 2011