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Gangwon performs, Korea matures

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By Andrew Salmon

I have just returned from four days reporting on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. It was a revelatory trip.

First impressions? Dodgy. I checked into the "hotel" I had booked online and paid 250,000 won ($230) per night for. It squatted down a side street in a red-light district. Yep: My hotel was a 70,000 won per night love motel with hotel aspirations. Still: it was clean, hot water was plentiful, and the TV worked sometimes. From there, it was all uphill.

Gangneung's media center was a benchmark. In the Seamarq Hotel, it offered: 24/7 access; friendly and helpful young staff; floor-to-ceiling views over the East Sea; weapons-grade Wi-Fi; multiple TV sets; free lunches and dinners; unlimited coffee; and deluxe urinary and excretory facilities. This was the finest, most relaxing media center I have ever labored in, beating the trousers off facilities in Rio, Moscow, Queretaro, Mexico City and Gangnam.

Public transport was spot on ― and with these Games being spread across a province, rather than in one town or village, it had to........

© The Korea Times