The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games (POCOG) opened a promotion center ― the PyeongChang 2018 House ― at Rio’s popular Copacabana beach, attracting many visitors in the city for the Olympics, Saturday (local time).
“You can enjoy Korea’s best ‘snow and winter beach’ at PyeongChang, Gangneung and Jeongseon, where the 2018 Winter Games are held,” Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Kim Jong-deok said in a congratulatory message, urging people to visit the South Korean host cities.
POCOG President Lee Hee-beom, Secretary General Yeo Hyung-koo and Gunilla Lindberg, head of the IOC Coordination Commission for the PyeongChang Games, also attended the ceremony.
Various cultural events were held, including Korea’s most popular percussion show, “Nanta,” a taekwondo demonstration and K-pop dance performances to promote hallyu, or the Korean wave. Signs promoting Korea’s national slogan, “Creative Korea,” were also posted in the booth.
Korean foods, including gimbap seaweed-wrapped rice rolls, were introduced at the famous Brazilian beach to give a taste of Korea to the people who flocked there from across the world.
The South Korean organizers also offered visitors a chance to experience ski jumping through 4D virtual reality, as well as Korean calligraphy and crafts using traditional Korean hanji paper, at a booth inside the promotion center
POCOG revealed an animation clip on Friday featuring the Olympics mascots, Soohorang, a white tiger, and Bandabi, a black bear, and brought the mascots to Rio.
POCOG President Lee met winter sports organizations in Rio to discuss future cooperation and safety measures for South Korea’s first Winter Games.
“Winter sports are weak in the Asian and Korean market,” Gian Franco Kasper, president of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations, said at the meeting. “Let’s initiate various promotions to expand the foundation and awareness of winter sports in Korea.”
The POCOG plans to meet organizing committee members of China and Japan to strengthen cooperation among the three nations for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Choi Ha-young, Korea Times