POSTED: Friday February 18th 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Dream Program's winter sport stars of the future greet the IOC Evaluation Commission in Gangneung

IOC Evaluation Commission and the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee meeting children participating in the 2011 Dream Program
IOC Evaluation Commission and the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee meeting children participating in the 2011 Dream Program

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA, 18 February 2011: Following its inspection of the new Alpensia mountain venue cluster on Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission today toured Gangneung - the coastal venue cluster that will host the ice events should PyeongChang have the honour of hosting the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Gangneung is a core component of PyeongChang 2018’s compact, two-cluster Winter Games Plan and will feature its own Olympic Village and Media Village. During its tour today, the IOC Evaluation Commission visited the Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink, a year-round world class sports facility that opened in 1999 and one of the central features of PyeongChang’s coastal venue cluster. If PyeongChang’s bid for the 2018 Winter Games is successful, the venue will host the Curling competition. The IOC also toured the proposed sites for other 2018 Winter Games venues including Ice Hockey and Figure Skating.

The Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink is also one of the sports venues in Gangwon Province where the annual Dream Program is taking place, and the IOC Evaluation Committee was today welcomed at the Ice Rink by children participating in the 2011 edition of the international initiative.

The international Dream Program is the result of PyeongChang’s pledge to the IOC to help expand interest and participation in winter sports amongst young people across the world. The initiative, organised by Gangwon Province and PyeongChang 2018, invites children from places around the world where winter sports opportunities and facilities are unavailable or underdeveloped, and enables them to experience winter sports for the first time in PyeongChang. The program also has the broader ambition to help increase the number of participating National Olympic Committees in the Winter Games to 100 by 2018. Three participants of an earlier edition of the Dream Program went on to fulfil their dreams last year by becoming Olympians and taking part at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

So far, 806 children from 42 countries have participated in the Dream Program, with 290 of these children coming from 15 countries in Asia. The 2011 edition of the initiative, held from 12 to 21 February, has the greatest number of participating children in the program’s history, and involves 143 young people from 33 countries. The group includes 24 children with disabilities who have hopes of achieving their ambition to participate in the Paralympic Winter Games. The participants of the 2011 Dream Program will be coached by Korean Olympians including Sun-yu Jin and Eun-byul Lee (Short Track Speed Skating), Seung-wook Hur (Alpine Skiing) and Soo-chul Kim (Snowboard).

The Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink has previously hosted a number of international sporting events including the 2005 ISU Four Continental Figure Skating Championships, the 2008 ISU Short Track Speed Skating Championships, and the 2009 WCF Women’s World Curling Championships. PyeongChang’s bid received a boost in December 2010 when the venue was inspected and approved by World Curling Federation (WCF) President Kate Caithness. The Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink has also been highlighted as part of PyeongChang 2018’s legacy programme as the venue will become a permanent Curling practice site following the 2018 Winter Games.

Jin sun Kim, former Governor of Gangwon Province and founder of the Dream Program, said: “I am delighted to be here in Gangneung and introduce distinguished Members of the IOC Evaluation Commission to the young people taking part in our 2011 Dream Program.

“The Dream Program is an illustration of PyeongChang’s commitment to foster the growth of winter sports internationally and in so doing, contribute to the goals of the Olympic Movement.

“We hope even more participants of the Dream Program will go on to achieve their Olympic aspirations and compete at the Winter Games, and we are proud to help these young athletes along their sporting journey.”

Yang Ho Cho, PyeongChang 2018 Chairman and CEO, said: “We are pleased to show the IOC Evaluation Commission the investment we have made to build new sports facilities such as the Gangneung Indoor Ice Rink.

It highlights PyeongChang’s commitment to staging the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018, and that we are delivering on our promises to the IOC and the Olympic Family.

“This investment will also provide us with the momentum to inspire more young people to participate in new disciplines, help develop their skills, and grow interest in winter sports in new areas of the world.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

Please find attached to this press release an image of the IOC Evaluation Commission and the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee meeting children participating in the 2011 Dream Program. A high resolution image is available upon request.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The city of PyeongChang in Gangwon Province, South Korea is bidding to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018. The city’s bid is managed by the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid Committee, a non-profit organisation that was established on 14 September 2009. The Chairman and CEO of the Bid Committee is Yang Ho Cho, who is also Chairman of Korean Air. Additional members of the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee include representatives from all levels of national and local government, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), the Korean Paralympic Committee (KPC), winter sports athletes and para-athletes, and private businesses. The election of the Host City of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games will take place during the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Durban, South Africa on 6 July 2011.

For further information about PyeongChang’s bid to host the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, please visit http://www.pyeongchang2018.org

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Keywords · 2018 · Winter · Olympics · Bid · PyeongChang · South Korea · IOC · Evaluation Commission · 2011 Dream Program


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