It has been 5 years since the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang took place in 2018. The spectacular drone show, figure skating winner Kim Yu-na lighting the torch, the joint entry of North and South Korea, the speedy running of the nicknamed ironman Yun Sung-bin, the repeated shout ‘Youngmi’ from the women’s curling team were some of the unforgettable scenes of the PyeongChang 2018.
The PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation set sail in April 2019 to continue its legacy including the Paralympic Games. PowerKorea sat down with the foundation Chairman Ryu Seung-min and learned its achievements.
Below is a summary of the interview.
Q. Tell us about the foundation and what it does.
The PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation opened the door in April 2019 to preserve and promote its legacy including the Paralympic Games. In order to achieve this, we host events and make projects to promote Winter Olympic Games.
‘DreamProgram’, for example, started in 2004 celebrating its 19th program in 2023.
We invite youth from all over the world from snowless countries to enjoy sports. Around 2,500 young students from 97 countries have visited so far. Some of them grew and played in the Olympics afterwards.
‘PLAYWINTER’, for another example, promotes winter sports. The figure queen Kim Yu-na is one of the instructors of this program.
Also worth mentioning is ‘PyeongChang Peace Forum’ and ‘Suhorang Bandabi Sports Camp’.
Q. What are you most focused on?
It is encouraging that the IOC and related organizations praise highly of our activities to promote winter sports. If we keep carrying on our zeal, it will give a good influence to ‘the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games’.
We will keep the legacy of it alongside the PyeongChang. It is important we do this thoroughly as the IOC and international organizations take off the score if the legacy plan is not proper. In other words, we must be busy this year.
Q. You have gone through the pandemic without major issues. How do others evaluate the foundation?
Like many businesses, we were also affected by the pandemic. So we focused more on preventive measures when running a program during the period. We give a great part of our effort to children and youth so that they can grow in confidence.
Again, like many businesses, lack of financial resources makes us hard to push forward our ideas and programs. So I’m working on increasing the operation budget to create a more encouraging work environment.
Ryu’s term ends in 2025. Till then, he targets to secure a stable budget to run the foundation smoothly.
Q. Lastly, what is your plan as President of the International Sport Strategy Foundation?
I plan to promote South Korea as the powerhouse of the Winter Olympic Games through the programs that can be easily accessible to the public.
During my rest one and half year term, I will continue to do my best with my appointed role during the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 this year and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games next year. I will take the lead on strengthening the international capabilities of Korea and find ways to share and spread my experience back to the sports world.
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