POSTED: November 30th 2010

Best of Korea brings global cultural allure to PyeongChang's 2018 Winter Games bid

The Gangwon Province will feature the beauty of the Orient / PyeongChang 2018
The Gangwon Province will feature the beauty of the Orient / PyeongChang 2018

JOHN GOODBODY / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Nov 29: PyeongChang is planning to promote South Korea’s cultural feature if it wins the vote next year to stage the 2018 Winter Olympics.

After narrowly failing on the last two occasions to host the Games, finishing runner-up to Vancouver for 2010 and Sochi for 2014, PyeongChang is rightly seeking to impress members of the International Olympic Committee with some fresh features. Otherwise, the IOC might feel that the bid is too familiar and give the impression that nothing new is being brought to the process.

The city is planning to stage a ‘Best of Korea’ exhibition during the Games, a concept that was unveiled last month at the meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees in Acapulco.

A spokesman for the Bid Committee said:”We believe we can create a global festival that the whole world can enjoy and we want to show that PyeongChang has excellent entertainment. We would bring many of Korea’s most exciting entertainment opportunities to the Games.”

The aim is to show not only the winter sports facilities but the beauty of the Orient and the wide-ranging cultural opportunities of the country.

 Leading chefs would demonstrate their culinary skills and there would be different cultural exhibits, such as food, dance and music, as well as special shopping areas. There is an enticing exoticism about the cultural life in South Korea, which attracts many foreigners, both from the Orient and also from other parts of the world.

Cultural aspect

Although less well-known to many outsiders than the art and culture of neighbours China and Japan, the freshness of South Korea is a novelty which attracts many tourists. And, after all, the Olympics are supposed to have a cultural, as well as a sporting aspect, and PyeongChang is planning to fulfil that.
PyeongChang has already become very popular to many Asian people, who wish to take part in the winter sports. Last year, more than 1.5 million people visited South Korea to participate in them.

However, Gangwon Province, in which PyongChang is situated, is far more than just a destination for people wanting to take part in winter sports, as the statistics demonstrate. The bid committee says that a total of 83 million tourists have holidayed there.

The ease with which foreigners can reach PyeongChang is shown by the fact that it will take only 68 minutes, when the high speed rail link is completed in 2017, from the Seoul Incheon Airport to the city. In 2018, PyeongChang is scheduled primarily to host the ice events in 2018. The main skiing competitions will take place in the Alpensia cluster in the mountains.

The ’Best of Korea’ exhibition would add a further dimension to the Winter Games, the arrangements for which have already impressed the IOC.  In its examination of the candidature file, it scored highly in all the 10 categories, including those for government support and transport.

After the success in organising the Summer Games in 1988 and the 2002 Fifa World Cup, there are few disputes that South Korea could deliver what it is promising for 2018.

Keywords · PyeongChang 2018 · Best of Korea · Olympic bidding

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