The Countdown has begun!
Republic of Korea Celebrates One Year to Go Until the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games
PyeongChang, February 09 –
The official countdown clock began ticking in Seoul last night but it was tonight, at 7pm in Gangneung Ice Hockey Centre when the party really started for the province of Gangwon and the crowds turned out to show their support for the Olympic Winter Games that will come to their homeland 365 days from now on 9-25 February 2018.
More than 9000 turned out to witness the star-studded affair with PyeongChang 2018 Ambassador Yuna Kim (Olympic Figure Skating gold medalist) and Magnus Kim (Cross-Country skier who won Korea’s first gold medal in the history of cross-country skiing at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games) appearing on stage
Enthusiastic and engaging performers entertained the crowds as PyeonChang showed off its rich cultural and sporting heritage.
The evening kicked off with Dotkkabigige from the Gangwon Province Art Association who staged a dance performance combining Korean traditional and contemporary art and the energy continued to rise with a Taekwondo demonstration from First Republic of Korea Army then special flashmob from the Gangwon Province Council for Culture volunteers.
Following the arrival of the guests there was a heart-warming performance Song So Hee and her choir who sang a piece titled ‘The new Gangwon Arirang’. The song gave out a strong message of ‘everyone being one’ and calling for ‘people around the world gather and have fun’ as they hope many people will visit Gangwon next year and make new histories together.
The Olympic flag was raised before Korean Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn gave an address to all in attendance. This was followed by a speech delivered by Madame Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the Coordination Commission of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said, “Today’s event is indeed a meaningful occasion where we can envisage the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, one of the world’s largest festivals celebrated by everyone around the world. Until the day the Olympic flame is carried to the host city of PyeongChang, Let us all lend our hands in ensuring the success of the Games. I wish to ask you for even more support and interest in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, which is just one year ahead of us.”
IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg commented, “With only 1 year to go until the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, we can feel the excitement growing and the support of all of the Republic of Korea for these Games. World-class venues are being delivered on time and they will serve the development of winter sport in this region.” She continued, “Over 20 test events will be held this winter season, laying the groundwork for successful Olympic Winter Games in one year’s time. The athletes taking part in these events are already giving top marks to their experience in PyeongChang. I am confident that come next February, the athletes, the people of Korea, and the watching world will have an outstanding Olympic Winter Games experience with PyeongChang 2018.”
President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach then shared a message of good luck and best wishes to PyeongChang via a short video message.
The evening then reached its climax with the countdown ceremony of one year to go. The night was filled with fire performances and bright lights which symbolized the flame of the Olympic Torch.
The Olympic Torch was then unveiled along with the torch bearer uniforms.
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A musical performance by too K-Pop singers, B!A4, GFriend, and Insooni ended the official celebrations at the Gangneung Hockey Centre but the celebrations continue across the province for the next 10 days as music and the arts are showcased in a series of performances and festivals.
The lottery process for the people of the Republic of South Korea to apply for their Games tickets opened today and the slogan ‘Get your tickets and share the passion’ will be used globally to encourage everyone to be part of this once in a lifetime experience. Those from overseas looking to plan their trip to Korea can buy tickets through the authorized ticket reseller in their country of residence. More information can be found at www.tickets.pyeongchang2018.com
At PyeongChang 2018, more than 3,000 athletes from up to 95 countries will take part in the Games with 102 gold medals being contested across the 15 winter sports disciplines. In the 12 months that remain until competition beings, there will be a number of major projects and events for the organizing committee including the volunteer selection and training program, the start of the torch relay and the 100 days to go countdown!
Spectators don’t need to wait a full year to see plenty of sporting action on the slopes and on the ice! The busy test event season continues and this week sees PyeongChang play host to the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships (9-12), the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup (10-18) and the FIS Snowboard World Cup (12-19). Your chance to see Olympic medalists and future medalists test out the competition venues and continue their preparations in these world class competitions.
Wrapping up the One-Year-to-Go Countdown Ceremony, POCOG President Lee Hee-beom said, “What a fantastic celebration we had here tonight to mark one year to go. Thank you to all the performers who made tonight so special. The atmosphere was wonderful and this is a great way to show the world that we are ready to put on a great show in 12 months’ time. Ticket sales launched today so we would like to invite everyone to the Gangwon province to make life-long memories and see Olympic Champions create history in Korea."
POCOG Press Office