Kim Ha-ram, Editor & Roh Kyu-lee, Meimankulova Nazbiike, Reporters
Now, the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games are almost here. It will be the most significant event in 2018, after the 1988 Seoul Olympics for 30 years. The 1988 Seoul Olympics was held for the first time, and it was the pride of the South Korea. Furthermore, the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will be hosted from February 9th to February 25th, 2018 in Pyeongchang. Pyeongchang will be the third Asian city to host the Winter Olympic Games; the first two were in Japan, in 1972 in the Sapporo Winter Olympic Games and 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic games. Let's look at global sport festival, 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
● Briefly about the Olympic Games
The creation of the modern Olympic Games was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece. According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. Since that time, it was held 293 times every four years until 393 AD. Then it was suspended for about 1,500 years and restored at the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 by Pierre de Coubertin, the instigator of the modern Olympic movement. Initially, only the summer tournament was held. The Winter Olympic Games were newly established in Chamonix, France in 1924. The Winter Olympic Games are a four-year international competition, which have been conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1942 for competing athletes in winter sports. All 28 Summer Olympic Games held in 23 cities and 22 Winter Olympic Games held in 19 cities before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
● A long Way for Formation of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games
Pyeongchang was selected as the venue for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games by winning the majority vote at the 123rd IOC General Assembly held on July 6th, 2011 after three challenges since 2003. The first try was on July 2nd, 2003. During the first-round of voting at the IOC General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic, that city won the most votes, but with three points at the final vote, the city lost to Vancouver. In the second-round of voting at the IOC General Assembly in Guatemala, on June 22nd, 2010, Sochi won the final vote by four more points, where Pyeongchang received 47 ballots and Sochi got 51 ballots. Pyeongchang was selected as a shortlisted candidate city for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games by the IOC, where Munich, Germany and Annecy, France also took a place. Finally, on July 6th, 2011, Pyeongchang was selected as the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games by receiving an overwhelming 63 out of 95 votes at the 123rd IOC session in Durban, South Africa. The Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was launched on October 19th, 2011.
● Brightens the Start of 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games
Originally, the torch relay was held to commemorate the fire which Prometheus gave to the humans. It was not practiced in the first Olympic Games at Athens; it was first practiced in the 1931 Berlin Olympic Games. It was suggested by Carl Diem, who contributed to hosting the Olympics in Berlin in 1936. After World War II, when the next Olympic Games was to be held 12 years later, the torch relay was restarted again and finally was obliged by IOC since Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952.
Torch relay for 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games started on October 24th, 2017, and it is still ongoing until February 9th, 2018, which is the opening day of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. The torch came from Heraion temple in Athens, where flame lighting ceremony was held. On October 24th, 2017, Greek cross-country athlete Apostolos Angelis first started for 2018 Pyeongchang torch relay and after him, former soccer player Park Ji-sung took this over and traveled around main historic sites of Greece. After 10 days of travel, this torch finally came to Korea at November 1st, 100 days before the games. First torch relay in Korea was held in Incheon by former figure skater Kim Yu-na. Torch relay in Korea is planned to travel all around the Korea until it comes to Pyeongchang on February 4th. During the relay, special events such as torch relay on the Turtle ship, robots, rail bike are planned, and it is expected to introduce Korean traditional culture well to people all over the world.
● When You See It, You Know It is 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games
The slogan of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games is ‘Passion. Connected.’ The first two letters ‘P’ and ‘C’ show the connection with the word Pyeongchang. ‘Passion. Connected.’ implies one united passion, all connected with the sympathy of the world for winter sports. It means that the world is opened to any generation in any place and at any time to open up new horizons in the continuation of the growth of winter sports. "Passion" means a strong feeling, affection and something that you like. Pyeongchang is a place of global festivals, which symbolizes a place where Koreans share their warm affection. "Connected" means to link, to join, to combine, a bridge and an understanding. A place where each generation can participate and inspire each other at any time and in any place through innovative technologies and cultural convergence in Korea is Pyeongchang. In addition, this means opening a new horizon for a new beginning, a harmonized world and the Winter Olympic Games.
The official mascots for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games and 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics, a white tiger and an Asiatic black bear, were unveiled on June 2nd, 2016 in the International Olympic Committee. These mascots are named ’Soohorang’ and ‘Bandabi’ respectively. In particular, the commission explained that the white tiger named ‘Soohorang’ intended to symbolize the continuation of the `Hodori’ which was an official mascot of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
Emblem of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games made of the word Pyeongchang in the Korean alphabet, Hangeul. The symbol ‘ㅍ’ represents the first consonant of the first syllable and expresses the harmony of Heaven, Earth and Man. Furthermore, the second syllable of Pyeongchang in Hangeul is ‘ㅊ’. It represents snow, ice, and winter sports stars.
● Games in which an Athlete’s Effort Is Melted
There are 15 categories with 102 detailed games in 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, so it will be the first winter Olympics which has more than 100 golden medals. Particularly, from 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, new events such as Snowboard Big Air, Mass Start, Mixed Doubles Curling, Alpine Skiing Mixed Team Event will be added. Alpine Skiing Mixed Team Event is meaningful because it’s a downhill course that was combined for the first time in the world. In addition, stadiums used for these games were recognized by the International Sports Federation. For example, the best advanced technology is required to build a sliding center, and its perfectness and technology was recognized through site detection by the International Sports Federation.
-Played on snow: Alpine Ski, Biathlon, Cross-country Ski, Freestyle Ski, Nordic Combined, Ski Jumping and Snowboarding
-Played on ice: Short track Speed skating, Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey and Curling
-Played on sliding: Bobsleigh, Luge, and Skeleton
15 Korean athletes will be participating in seven games such as snowboarding, speed skating, short track, bobsleigh, skeleton, cross-country and skiing.
● Another New Start, 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics
2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics will be held at March 9th, 2018 until March 18th. It is an Olympics for the disabled members of the national team, who have myelopathy, excised lesions, visual disturbance and brain disability. There are six games with 80 detailed events, and it will be held in the main stadiums in Pyeongchang, Gangneung and Jeongseon. The emblem of the Paralympic symbolizes the world of peace and hopes which jumps over race, region, and disability over. In addition, snow, ice and athletes are also shaped in the design. It symbolizes a world where the disabled, non-disabled, athletes, crowds and people all around the world join together and the colors are motivated from the traditional Korean colors, five cardinal colors.
● A Coin Has Two Sides
1) Positive Effect
-Infrastructure construction such as social overhead capital
-Employment creation and income increase: Value-added industries such as construction industry, related industry, marketing, advertising, broadcasting, IT
-Development of tourism industry and enhancement of regional image
-Activation of leisure sports in Gangwon-do
2) Negative Effect
-In less than 100 days from the start of the competition, the budget deficit is still not resolved
-Spending is higher than income, 2941 billion won
-Tickets are not sold
-Environmental destruction, ecosystem disturbance
It was very hard to prepare 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, which you can observe in the meantime. As it is written above, it is the second Olympic Games in Korea in 30 years since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Even though it is a very special opportunity to watch many sport games and famous athletes, Koreans are very indifferent about it. The success of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games and the cognition of Korea are up to us, Koreans. Let’s keep continuous interest on this event, and wish that it ends very successfully!