“I would like to invite the Korean people and fans from around the world to come and watch the Paralympic Winter Games, to experience the transformation that the Paralympic Movement can bring to a city, a country and the whole society."
Celebrations have taken place in South Korea to mark 100 days to go until the start of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
The countdown began with the unveiling of the Paralympic Countdown Tower at the Korean Paralympic Committee (KPC) Icheon Training Centre. Local residents and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the occasion including LEE Hee-beom PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee President; DO Jong-whan Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, CHOI Moon-soon Gangwon Province Govenor, LEE Myung-ho KPC President, newly appointed PyeongChang 2018 Honorary Ambassadors, JUNG Yong-hwa (singer/actor) and AOA (Kpop girl group), Korean national wheelchair curling athletes, and local residents.
The Countdown Tower was installed between the mascot sculptures at the front of the Center and will remain as a legacy after the Games when it will be used as a clock tower. A special gathering of attendees to spell out “100” for a commemorative aerial photograph then took place and the day ended with a tour of the training facilities.
LEE Hee-beom, President of POCOG said, “The Paralympic Winter Games will be a celebration of sport and culture for all. We want to encourage everyone to come and watch these amazing athletes in action next March.
"We aim to be the most accessible Games ever, and we want to educate Koreans on Paralympic sports so that we can open new horizons and provide opportunities for everyone to get involved in Paralympic sports before, during and after the Games. With the legacy of our state-of-the-art venues, people will be able to experience first-hand the thrill of having fun on the snow and ice, regardless of their age and ability.”
Experience the transformation
Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said, "I am looking forward to a great Games in 100 days from now. I had the opportunity to visit PyeongChang for the first time recently and I am excited by the work that is being done to deliver the Games.
“I would like to invite the Korean people and fans from around the world to come and watch the Paralympic Winter Games, to experience the transformation that the Paralympic Movement can bring to a city, a country and the whole society. And, of course, to have a once in a lifetime experience watching the world's best athletes in action."
SEO Soon-seok, Korean National Wheelchair Curling Team Captain “After years of training and preparation for the Paralympic Winter Games, it is hard to believe that it is only 100 days until our dream becomes a reality.
"We are proud to be representing our country on home soil and are ready to battle it out on the ice and make our home fans proud in PyeongChang."
The celebrations continue with the Federation of Disability Culture & Arts Association of Korea holding an arts festival tomorrow (November 30) in Seoul. Featuring performers from Korea, China and Japan, the festival will be broadcast nationwide on KBS TV1. The event will involve more than 1,000 people including the artists, spectators and VIPs from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and Ambassadors of China and Japan to the Republic of Korea.
Earlier in the week (November 25), the GyeongGi-Do Sports Association for the Disabled hosted a special cultural event at the Gyeonggi Art Center in Suwon to promote the Paralympic Winter Games. Local residents and para-athletes were invited to enjoy the festive event to raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement and para-sports. Performances included the Suwon Young Symphony, the Gyeonggi Dance Company, and Kpop singers such as VOS and KIM Jung Min.
The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games take place from March 9-18. Tickets for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games are on sale now with accommodation available across the province and the high-speed railway (KTX) to allow easy access from Seoul to the Games in just 67 minutes.