Environment and Culture combine on the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay
Traditional Ganggangsullae Performance in Suncheon welcomes the flame
PyeongChang, November 21 – The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Flame continued its path across the Republic of Korea and celebrated day 20 of its 101-day journey in traditional style at Suncheon Bay National Garden as its starting point in the Jeolla region on November 20.
Environment is one of the five Torch Relay themes - along with culture, economy, information technology and peace – so the National Garden was the perfect setting for the performance of a dance called ganggangsullae.
An impressive cast of 400 support runners were clad in the colourful traditional dress called hanbok as they danced in a circle along the hill to the beacon mound to welcome the Olympic Flame. The dance was perform as a symbol of the wish for unity and harmony throughout the Winter Games.
The spectators also enjoyed a range of other Korean performances including fusion traditional music by the band ‘Jieum’, traditional dancers and classical music, all performed against the scenic backdrop of the National Garden. The cultural showcase came to a close with a performance by popular K-pop boy band B1A4, and male vocal group Noeul combining for an electrifying finale.
KIM Joo-ho, Executive Vice President of Games Planning and Communications was there to enjoy the celebrations and said, “When you think of the natural environment in Korea, the Suncheon Bay National Park is one of the most iconic and beautiful examples of our natural landscape, so it is the perfect location for our Olympic Torch Relay celebrations today.
“Thank you to everyone who has joined us on the journey of the Olympic Flame over the last 20 days and I hope to see many more of you welcoming the flame to your region as winter starts to set in and we prepare to welcome the world.”
The arrival of the torch also coincided with the time of year when more than 230 species of migratory birds start to visit the wetland, creating a wonderful spectacle for all the visitors that come to see them.
The ecological park is a 1.12 square kilometres area that was turned into a conservation area housing more than 505 species of trees and 113 species of flowers, and 28 square kilometres of Suncheon Bay. It is one of the world’s five biggest wetlands and is a popular tourist destination. It is also home to an observatory, the Heungryunsa temple, an Eco Museum, a World Garden and an Oriental Medicine Centre.
The Suncheon Bay Garden Expo in 2013 was the first of its kind in Korea and showcased the host nation’s advanced green technologies and promoted Korea as a global front runner in ecological conservation efforts.
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POCOG Press Office