President Park: South Korea ushers in a new era of Happiness and Hope
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
February 26 - South Korea celebrates the inauguration of their first woman president as Park Guen Hye takes the oath of office for the next five years.
Sworn in on the exact day the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics will close in five years time, the new leader will have the winter Games especially in her heart as it will be one of the top events to mark her term and legacy.
PyeongChang Organizing Committee Olympic Games (POCOG) head Kim Jin Sun was put in charge of the commission overseeing her inauguration ceremony held in front of the National Assembly building for a crowd of approximately 70,000 people.
In line with her pledge to focus on building up the economy the choice was made to hire a small business company as opposed to one of the larger ones to manage the cermony.
Outgoing president Lee Myung Bak and First Lady Kim Yoon Ok left the Blue House to return to their home in the Gangnam district made famous by Korean music icon Psy with his recent digital recording "Gangnam Style".
Psy himself was on hand for the musical part of the celebrations bringing a light note to the party as well as a lineup of K-pop and popular Korean musicians.
POCOG President Kim
Recently President Kim spoke with the press about the lead up to the inauguration and the support of outgoing President Lee and his enthusaism for the new government in these crucial five years leading up to the Games.
He noted, "Right now we are in the proces of transition of governments. President Lee helped our bid a lot and he was in Durban personally lobbying the International Olympic Committee (IOC)."
"He provided strong support for the preparation of our Games after we won the bid. For example, he executed the Special Act in support for the 2018 Games."
Government support will be key
Kim noted the ongoing support by the new government, "President Park herself has paid a lot of attention to our project over the past 10 years.
"She strongly supports the Games and has provided us a lot of help. And she knows how important it is for Korea to organize the Olympics as well as to be successful.
"We believe that her aid will give us further momentum to our Games' preparation, and I have a big expectations and look forward to her support.
"As you know I was appointed as head of the Presidential Inauguration Preparatory Committee and I felt a great responsibility. I will do my best to help the government to make a good start to this year. At the same time we need to work hard on our preparations for the Games.
"I can say I have had two jobs during this time.
"But regardless of my being appointed to the Preparatory committee, I believe that President Park will give us a strong backing for the Games preparation and I will make it happen," he affirmed.
Chad Wise contributed to this article
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