Monday, June 26, 2017

Snippets of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018

We are 228 days to the opening of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. This is the XXIII Olympics Winter games and will be South Korea's first winter games, after hosting the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. Scheduled to take place from 9-25 February 2018, this major sport event will capture the attention of media around the world. While most of us will read about the coverage online, it would be an interesting experience to be at the event and watching the athletes competing for the medals. 
KTX to Pyeongchang
With the introduction of a new line on the KTX, visitors will be able to travel to Pyeongchang from Incheon Airport or Seoul area in just 86 minutes. The fuss-free journey will aid in increasing the number of visitors who are visiting Gangwon province - not just for the Olympic games. Gangwon province is also well known for other attractions such as Nami Island (my fave!), Seoraksan National Park and many more. I will cover these attractions in another post, so stay tuned for that.
The Venue
The games will be gathered around two main venues: Pyeongchang mountain cluster for outdoor sports and Gangneung coastal cluster for indoor sports. Both the opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, which boosts a seating capacity of 35,000. For those who are interested in attending the games, the online general sales will commence on 5 September. So, hop over to the official ticketing site to purchase your tickets! 
The Games
Athletes will compete in 102 events across snow, ice and sliding sports with over 100 gold medals to be won. 6 new events such curling mixed doubles, speed skating mass start etc will be added to the program. This will be the stage for the most number of mixed events in the history of Olympics Winter Games. 
The Olympic Flame
The Olympic flame will arrive in Incheon City 101 days before the start of the games. It will make its way around the regions of Korea, where a total of 7,500 torchbearers are expected to take part. A series of events/activities will be held in the cities, so people can share the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay. 
The Olympic torch was revealed earlier this year. Designed by Korean designer Young Se Kim, the torch measured 700mm in length signifying the altitude of Pyeongchang which lies 700m above sea level. Dressed in white and gold tones, the torch mirrored the main colours of Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay while the 5 pronged shape of the flame is based on the Korean symbol for Pyeongchang, which is also engraved around the top and bottom half of the torch. The torch has been designed to withstand all weather conditions, so the flame will be kept lit throughout the relay.
Honorary Ambassadors for the Games
A total of 30 ambassadors have been selected for the games, with Taeyang (from Bigbang) being the latest to join the list. I was really glad to see Lee Min Ho on the list. Not forgetting Kim Yuna, the queen of figure ice-skating. 
Korean athletes in Pyeongchang Olympic Games
While watching the Olympic Special on Infinite Challenge, I got to know several athletes through the various games such as bobsleigh, curling and ice hockey. The bobsleigh team will be led by Yoon Sung Bin, Seo Young Woo and Won Yoon Jong. Yoon Jong appeared on the show, alongside with Lee Yong who is their coach and 3 of their team mates. 

Speed Skating Mass Start will be introduced for the first time as an Olympic event at Pyeongchang 2018 Games. Lee Seung Hoon will be the man to watch out for, having won the gold medal in the mass start race component of the World All Round Speed Skating Championships, hosted in Russia.  

Having read about their personal stories in interviews, I was impressed by the devotion of the athletes. They trained hard for many years and scarified a lot of family and personal time to be where they are. Hats off for their passion and let us cheer all the participating athletes in the coming games; get ready to scream "Daehanminguk"!

*all images are courtesy of Pyeongchang 2018 official website unless stated otherwise

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Goodbye, Great Granny

A picture with my great granny 2 years ago, during CNY. She left us in April, having lived to a ripe old age of 103 with 5 generations under her care. Great granny was very fortunate as all her 8 children were there to send her off on her final journey. Today is the 49th day since her passing and I'll definitely miss her but I'm glad that she can finally be reunited with her husband in the other world. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018: Singapore Supporters' Goodies Bag

30 years after hosting the summer Olympics in 1988, South Korea will once again play host to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics which will take place from 9-25 February 2018. I was lucky to be selected as part of the Pyeongchang Olympics Supporters team, hence I was gifted with these official merchandise from KTO Singapore.  Thank you for the love! 
The Official Emblem
The official emblem draws inspiration from Hangul, with the shapes that form the logo stemming from the first consonants from each syllable in the word "Pyeongchang" when written in Hangul. The symbol ㅍ expresses the harmony of Heaven, Earth and Man. The 2nd character  signifies ice and snow and also symbolic of the athletes' performances. In short, the official emblem symbolises a "grand gathering of people from all over the world in celebration of Olympic winter sports, which is taking place in the harmonious land of Pyeongchang". 

Unveiling The Mascot
Soohorang, a white tiger which served as a guardian for its people, is the official mascot of the Olympics games. In traditional Korean folk tales, the tiger is often seen as a symbol of trust, strength and protection. Bandabi, an Asiatic black bear which is symbolic of strong will and courage, is the official mascot for the Winter Paralympics games. Their names are symbolic too; let's break it down further:

"Sooho" : the Korean word for "protection". To protect the athletes, spectators and all participants of the Olympics games.
"Rang" : derives from the Korean word "ho-rang-i", which means tiger. It also appears in "Jeongseon Arirang", the traditional folk music of Gangwon Province, where Pyeongchang the host city is located. 
"Banda" : comes from "bandal" meaning half-moon, indicating the white crescent on the chest of the bear.
"Bi" : to celebrate the Games.

*image courtesy of google
Interestingly, the tiger is also used in the 1988 Seoul Games. "Hodori" was an orange Amur tiger, portraying the friendly and hospitable traditions of the Korean people. "Dori" is a diminutive for "boys" hence Hodori is a male tiger. The female version was known as "Hosuni", even though she was seldom used. 
Fun fact: If you have watched Reply 1988 (strongly recommended! I super love this series man, esp with Park Bo Gum!), you would have caught snippets of the Olympics games on the drama. 

The Official Slogan
Under the official slogan "Passion. Connected", the game aims to bring together the athletes and game participants across 95 countries and gather in Pyeongchang, a place where everyone is connected with shared passion for the winter sports. 

You can purchases these merchandises from the official Pyeongchang 2018 stores in Seoul. The first store opened to public in last Friday at Lotte Myeongdong branch. Two more official stores will open next month at Lotte's department store and duty-free shop in Seoul. Currently, there are over 300 items available but the number of products will reach 2000 by October. So be sure to grab an item or more when you are in the vicinity! 
Lotte Department Store, Myeongdong Main Branch (9th Floor)
Address: 30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

Lotte Department Store, Avenuel Branch (B1F)
Address: 81, Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 
Related Posts with Thumbnails