On the spot

Jae Kook Sim

Mayor of PyeongChang, South Korea

The City of PyeongChang will be part of the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games‘ adventure. What role is PyeongChang playing in organizing and hosting events and how are all the involved sites collaborating with each other?

Our goal is to make sure that our city is prepared to receive visitors from all over the world so that we can give them the best possible Olympic experience.
We have already started various educational programs for PyeongChang residents, such as the international cultural awareness program, so that our city can be best prepared to welcome international visitors early next year.
We will also ensure that all the youth of PyeongChang can participate in the Youth Olympic Games in some form. The Youth Olympic Games is an event for the youth and they should be the ones who should benefit the most from the upcoming games.

With the experience acquired during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, what is PyeongChang contributing to this upcoming event?

During PyeongChang 2018 our city was host to all the snow and sliding events. This inevitably left the legacy of people, within our city, who have experience working in an international mega sports event. I believe this will be our greatest contribution to the upcoming Games, our citizens already have experience in all aspects of hosting the Games. We also plan to share our experience with Hoengseong city who will join our Olympic family and will host the snowboard and freestyle events during Gangwon 2024.

How does PyeongChang value, promote, and activate its Olympic legacy, in a way that is a ‘+’ for its population in terms of access to sport and promotion of physical activity?

Having access to Olympic standard winter sports facilities gives us an amazing opportunity to create meaningful legacy projects for not just our constituents, but for people all over Korea.
We recently started the “Snowball” Passport Program where we give 1 to 1 ski and snowboard lessons at our Olympic facilities to our 1st grade primary school students in PyeongChang. This program has been a huge success with over 95% of 1st graders in our city taking part in this program.
Since 2020, over 15,000 students from all over Korea have taken part in our “Soohorang” Sports Camps. This 3-day camp gives students an opportunity to learn winter sports from retired athletes at our Olympic facilities.
We believe our Olympic facilities should be accessible to all, and not just elite athletes, and our legacy strategy is focused on creating projects to achieve this aim.

In 2018, the PyeongChang Games conveyed a strong message of peace. What has been done since to continue with this message and to build upon this Olympic legacy?

As a legacy to the PyeongChang Olympic Truce program, our city has partnered with Gangwon Province and the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation to host the annual PyeongChang Peace Forum. This forum is a yearly gathering of experts on peace from around the world to discuss new solutions and policies on creating a peaceful world through sports.
We are also turning the PyeongChang Medal Plaza into the PyeongChang Peace Park. This park will commemorate the strong message of peace that the PyeongChang games conveyed and is set to open in 2025.