Gangwon 2024, the end of a 14-day battle… Writing a ‘anti-war drama’

Source: France Olympique, Policy

Catch two birds with one stone in terms of operation and box office performance despite initial negative factors such as cold wave… As an example of an international sports competition

The 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics ended on the 1st after 14 days of intense competition.

This competition, in which over 1,800 athletes from 78 countries around the world competed and shared friendship, successfully marked a page in the history of the Winter Youth Olympic Games thanks to the ‘successful operation of the competition’ and the enthusiasm of a ‘packed audience’.

In particular, it is said to have created a blockbuster hit despite difficulties such as cold waves and heavy snow at the beginning of the competition, and has created a ‘best example of an international sports competition’ by spreading K-culture around the world through various cultural events.

Thomas Bach, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said at an appreciation reception hosted by the IOC after the closing ceremony of Gangwon 2024 on the 1st, “Thanks to the support of President Yoon Seok-yeol, a perfect stage has been provided for a new generation of athletes to shine,” and “This success is “I think it is the result of the combined efforts of various stakeholders, including various Korean government ministries and the organizing committee,” he said, expressing his gratitude.

Thomas Bach, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), visits the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics Media Center in Gangneung, Gangwon-do on the morning of the 1st and delivers a greeting. (Source: IOC Young Reporters, CC BY NC-SA 2.0

◆Turn crisis into opportunity… A drama with a twist

Gangwon 2024 faced a series of difficulties even before the competition. Five days before the competition was held, there seemed to be an emergency as three norovirus patients occurred. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety moved quickly. All food ingredients were inspected, response guidelines were provided to patients suspected of having infectious diseases, and an on-site response team was dispatched to the game hosting facility. As a result of thorough quarantine measures, there was no further spread.

The weather was a problem on the 20th, the day after the opening ceremony. A record-breaking cold wave and heavy snow fell throughout Gangwon-do. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the organizing committee put all their efforts into preparing measures against cold weather. Winter uniforms were provided to 5,000 event management personnel and winter boots were provided to outdoor workers.

It was decided to install a heated shelter in the stadium to prevent spectators from shivering in the cold. Gangwon-do immediately provided snow removal equipment, manpower, and snow removal agents, and the Ministry of National Defense dispatched snow removal personnel to the site. Everyone worked as a ‘one team’.

The competition operation began to shine as we overcame a crisis that could have caused a major setback to the competition through organizational skills and quick response.

At the center was the audience.

The organizing committee set the attendance target at 250,000, believing that interest would be lower than that of the Adult Olympics and that reservations would be high because all games would be free of charge. However, people began to visit the stadium due to the symbolism of it being the first Winter Youth Olympics held in Asia and affectionate interest in promising future athletes.

Spectators are watching the figure skating women’s single free skating competition at the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games held at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung Olympic Park on the afternoon of the 30th. Source: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism/ Official Photographer: Heo Manjin

The figure skating competition held on the 27th and 28th of last month attracted more than 120,000 visitors and received as much attention as the Adult Olympics, and the ice hockey competition was sold out every day and drew 10,000 won spectators.

The Gangwon 2024 Organizing Committee said in a briefing on the 1st, “270,000 spectators participated in this tournament, and 230,000 spectators participated in cultural events such as festival sites and cultural and artistic performances,” adding, “The number of participating spectators was about 500,000, which was originally expected. He expressed satisfaction, saying, “The result is more than double the 250,000 people who did it.”

The organizing committee, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Gangwon-do Province worked together to overcome the negative factors at the beginning of the competition, creating a dramatic success that turned out to be a box office success.

The twist did not end here.

There have been a series of surprises in which athletes from countries that are barren in winter sports have won medals.

Tunisian Jonathan Lourimi, who started sledding with the support of the Pyeongchang Memorial Foundation in 2018, brought home his country’s historic first medal by coming in second place after Jae-Hwan Jae in the men’s bobsled monobob competition.

Thailand’s Kampeol Agnes, who competed in the women’s single-man bobsled event, also crossed the finish line in second place and won the first Winter Olympics medal in Thailand’s history.

Campheol Agnes, representing Thailand’s bobsleigh team, is delighted after winning a silver medal in the women’s monobob (single-seater) competition held at the Alpensia Sliding Center in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do on the 22nd of last month. (Photo = OIS (Olympic Information Service)

This case was called the ‘2024 version of cool running’ and touched many people. Domestic and international media heaped praise on Pyeongchang 2018, saying that its vision of ‘new horizons’ had been realized in just six years.

Implementation of the Cultural OlympicsAmazing experience, thank you Gangwon

The reason Gangwon 2024 received such favorable reviews both at home and abroad is because it was not only a sporting event, but also a sports festival and cultural Olympics that combined K-culture and sports.

Starting with the opening ceremony, which was staged as a harmonious stage combining laser art, K-pop, and dance, representative national and public arts organizations such as the National Contemporary Dance Company of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the National Ballet Company presented Korean cultural and artistic performances during the competition.

Some athletes from each country who finished the game early returned home, but those attending the closing ceremony actively participated in Korean cultural experiences for the remaining period.

An official from the Gangwon 2024 Organizing Committee said in a briefing on the 30th of last month, “What is attracting attention in this competition is the various cultural programs,” and added, “Many foreign athletes and tourists are enjoying not only K-pop, but also traditional Korean culture such as Hanbok experience, calligraphy writing, and Neolttwigi. “It was introduced as follows.

The athletes, who learned the sports spirit and experienced Korean culture firsthand through Gangwon 2024, responded immediately.

French snowboarder Majali Iafrit Danielthorne expressed her gratitude through her social media, saying, “I am grateful to the organizers of the Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games for allowing me to have a very amazing experience.”

I did not forget to express my gratitude to the volunteers who worked together to run the event.

The mother of Japanese figure skater Kaori Kakiuchi said, “Korea, which I first came to, was a very warm country, with people holding your suitcase when you got off the KTX, telling you how to open the door if you kept waiting in front of the non-automatic door, or trying to explain in Japanese.” “The stadium was filled with cheering that I had never experienced even in a Japanese competition,” he said, posting photos of the Korean food and stadium he experienced during the Olympics on his social media.

A thank you note left on social media by the mother of Japanese figure skater Kaori Kakiuchi.
A thank you note left on social media by the mother of Japanese figure skater Kaori Kakiuchi.

BBC South West Senior Reporter Johnny Rutherford also said, “Thank you, Korea. “The 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympics were so great,” he said.

A comment left by BBC South West senior reporter Johnny Rutherford on social media.
A comment left by BBC South West senior reporter Johnny Rutherford on social media.

Gangwon 2024 continued the Olympic legacy by making full use of the competition facilities of Pyeongchang 2018.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plans to continue to explore ways to utilize the three facilities operated by Gangwon Province – Gangneung Oval, Hockey Center, and Sliding Center – and support various facility utilization projects that can spread the value of the Olympics.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo In-chon said, “Youth who participated in Gangwon 2024 will have created unforgettable memories by interacting with youth from various countries and races.” He added, “Gangwon 2024 was successfully completed with the support of the people. “We are grateful to all involved, including volunteers and management staff, who have dedicated themselves to making the competition a success.”

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