* This post is written by Angeliki Katsika, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
The Summer Special Olympics World Games for the year 2011 were held in my hometown, Athens – Greece. Korea is the next country to host the Winter Special Olympics World Games and for that reason, kpop group Wonder Girls were appointed as Good Will Ambassadors. This gave the opportunity to the Greek kpop fans to see a kpop act performing live, even if it was only for a couple of songs. This was an amazing experience because it combined one of the top kpop groups performing live as well as taking part in such a magnificent ceremony with all the athletes participating.
Luckily enough, my friends and myself were invited to participate in the press conference that was held at Hilton Athens Hotel, on July the 3rd, along with Korean and Chinese TV channels. Being able to interview the Wonder Girls was such an honor, especially when we actually didn’t think they would allow us to enter the press conference since we are not professionals. The girls were very honored and proud for being appointed as ambassadors and that made the atmosphere better and put me at ease. Although it’s a bit outdated now, you can view our interview by clicking on this link: http://www.lollikpop.gr/?p=212
As soon as we entered the room where the press conference was taking place, everyone from the Korean organizing committee, as well as the Wonder Girls’ manager greeted us wholeheartedly. We received a presentation for the winter special Olympics that are going to take place in PyeongChang from January 29 2013 until February 6 2013. We were also given postcards, pins, a fileholder and an amulet.
We were asked if we would visit Korea for the winter Olympics and to be honest we are actually thinking of volunteering. So who knows? Maybe in one year from now I’ll be making another post, straight from Korea^^
Now where exactly is PyeongChang? PyeongChang is a county in Gangwon province, in the Taebaek Mountains region. It takes approximately 3 hours to get there from Seoul.The county’s unspoiled natural beauty makes it an excellent resort for rest and relaxation.
PyeongChang will also host the Winter Olympic Games in 2018.
The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games will feature 7 sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Snow Boarding, Snow Shoeing, Speed Skating, Figure Skating & Floor Hockey.
Some of the venues, where the games will take part, are: Alpensia Resort, Yongpyong Resort, GangNeung Indoor Ice Rink, GangNeung Indoor Inline Skating Rink & YongPyong Dome.
It takes approximately 40mins from PyeongChang to GangNeung. GangNeung is located between the sea and the mountain ridge.
The slogan for the Special Winter Olympics is “Together we can!” and I do believe that Koreans will be able to provide the best ever Special Olympics Games for the athletes as well as the spectators.
As you probably already noticed from the photos posted above, the emblem selected is an abstract figure of a running person, representing passion and joy. It uses four different colors, in which every color has a unique meaning:
* Yellow indicates hope and happiness
* Pink represents love and passion
* Green represents trust and clean energy and
* Blue indicates a positive vision for the future
Last but not least, you probably noticed those cute little mascots on the fileholder, right?? Well, they have names and it would be the polite thing to do and actually learn their names!
Ra,In,Bow. Ra is the blue asiatic black bear. In is the red sheep and Bow is the green sheepdog. All three of them are some of the natural treasures of the Gangwon province. Ra will be in charge of the safety of the athletes, whereas In will greet the guests with love and Bow will take care of all the fun throughout the period of the games. Altogether they will be delivering passion and courage to all the people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Now I truly do hope that people who will get the opportunity to participate in the games, either as athletes, spectators or volunteers, will enjoy an amazing experience and be proud for taking part of such an event in such an amazing place!