As the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang is only one week away, global communities are poised to kick off the events in 15 different winter sports.
By Anna Kim
The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will run from Feb. 9th through 25th in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, South Korea. Since these Winter Games are the first in Korea 30 years after the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, Koreans hope that everything will go seamlessly.
Athletes from all over the world will vie for over 100 gold medals in 102 events in 15 sport disciplines including 6 new events: Snowboard Big Air, Speed Skating Mass Start, Curling Mixed Doubles, and Alpine Skiing Team Event.
With a plethora of volunteers to take care of these gargantuan events, the quadrennial global scale sports feast could not be in the full glare. An army of more than 24,000 volunteers including 1,090 foreign volunteers from different countries already mounted teamwork at the beginning of the month. Women take up 70.5% of the total volunteers, while some 83.3% are under 30 years old. Plenty of female college students with various language skills engaged are volunteering in this event. The volunteers from the U.S. comprise the largest portion with 258 participants, followed by Canadians 128, and Russians 127.
When it comes to promotion for this humongous event, nothing can beat a mascot. Soohorang and Bandabi are the ones to impress the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to cosmopolitans. Soohorang and Bandabi take their motif from white tiger and Asiatic black bear, which have been long considered Korea’s guardian animals called totemism. In particular, Soohorang is coined with Sooho, the meaning of protection in the Korean language, and Rang, which comes from the middle letter of Ho-Rang-I, the Korean word for Tiger, and is also the last letter of Jeong-Seon-A-Ri-Rang, a beloved traditional folk song of Gangwon Province, where the Olympics will be held. May Soohorang and Bandabi protect all participants in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics!
As for protection during the Games, we cannot help but to be concerned about North Korea. However, North and South Korean officials’ gathering at the border truce village of Panmunjom at the beginnging of the month defused the tension. North Korea agreed that they would send out as many athletes as possible and a delegation of cheerleaders and observers. North Korea also said that they would positively consider that they would march together in the opening and closing ceremonies as well as putting together a joint cheering squad. It would be heart-wrenchingly beautiful to see South and North Koreans get together in a common goal.
Meanwhile, The UN General Assembly has adopted a Resolution calling for a peaceful and successful hosting of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. The Resolution which was adopted by consensus expresses a commitment to, “building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal and urges countries to ensure the safe hosting, access, and participation of athletes, officials, and all other accredited persons taking park.”
The state of Georgia also adopted and passed the Resolution of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in all-party support at the state Capitol last Tuesday.
Korean officials and the Korean community showed gratitude to all of the State Senate and State House of Representatives.
“Today’s adoption of the Resolution to support the Pyeongchang Olympic Games clearly shows the growing connections and integrity between the state of Georgia and Korea. This resolution is not only a heartfelt wish for a successful Winter Olympics by a member of the international community, but also a sign of welcome to the Korean communities and business circles residing in Georgia,” said Young-jun Kim, Korea’s Consul General for the Southeast U.S. “This day will serve as an opportunity for all people in Georgia to consider the true spirit and purpose of the Olympics—promoting peace and unity within the international community through the medium of sports. I believe that the Pyeongchang Olympic Games will also highly contribute to the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. I hope that each of you will enjoy the Olympic Games next month!”
Young-jun Kim, Korea’s Consul General for the Southeast U.S., and the Korean community show gratitude to all of the State Senate and State House of Representatives.
When it comes to promotion for this humongous event, nothing can beat a mascot. Soohorang and Bandabi are the ones to impress the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to cosmopolitans.