When Gangwon 2024 hosts Asia’s first Youth Winter Olympic Games, it will be building upon a strong legacy from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
From improved winter sports facilities and a greener transport infrastructure to increased participation numbers in winter sports, the impact of those Games continues to be felt far beyond the particular host nation of the Republic of Korea.
With some of the venues set to be reused for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, we take a look at the lasting legacy of PyeongChang 2018.
It’s official, Gangwon 2024 first promotional video is out!
PyeongChang 2018 venues back in use for Gangwon 2024
Following the Olympic Winter Games in 2018, the Alpensia Sliding Centre has continued to offer training and competition opportunities for athletes of all levels in ski jumping , biathlon , cross-country and the sliding sports.
Ice hockey facilities at the Gangneung Park are also available to use, while the Gangneung Oval and Gangneung Ice Arena have been converted into multi-purpose sports venues that are used by the local communities. The Yongpyong Alpine Centre and Phoenix Snow Park are existing ski resorts used by the general public.
Local sports fans have been able to witness first class action over the years with the Asian Luge Championships, skeleton’s Intercontinental Cup, Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B matches, and the 2020 Alpine Skiing Far East Cup all taking place at PyeongChang 2018 venues.
The particular continuous use of Olympic venues is at the core of Gangwon 2024’s mission, and much existing infrastructure is being used to host competition once more. Several outdoor mountain events will be hosted at the Alpensia Sports Park in PyeongChang, as the indoor ice events will take place in Gangneung.
Members of the public continue to reside in Games-built accommodation in both the PyeongChang and Gangneung Olympic Villages.
Venues | PyeongChang 2018 Highlights
Increased winter sports involvement in the Republic of Korea and abroad
There was a significant increase in South Koreans registering for snowboarding clubs in the 2014-2018 Olympic cycle from 2, 000 to 4, 500, while the amount of winter sports clubs went up from 45 to 70 over the same period, according to the Legacy Report.
These statistics help to explain why the nation was able to win its first Winter Olympic gold medal ever outside of speed skating in 2018, when Yun Sung-bin sensationally won the particular men’s skeleton competition wearing his Iron Man-inspired outfit.
The benefits of these facilities were felt around the world as well. The Dream Program is a sports camp that was created in 2004 as part of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic bid that offers young people from countries around the world with little infrastructure the chance to practise winter sports in PyeongChang, and learn about Korean culture.
To date, over 2, 500 young people have participated in the programme, some of whom have gone on to win international competitions and compete at the Winter Olympics, like Latvian alpine skier Elvis Opmanis .
Elsewhere, the PyeongChang 2018 Heritage Foundation developed the “New Horizons Sliding Champions” programme, which trains athletes from non-winter sports countries in sliding sports activities. By supporting smaller snowboarding countries, the programme has enabled athletes from countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand to develop their skills and support the establishment of national federations.
Yun Sung-bin: My PyeongChang Highlights
PyeongChang 2018’s positive environmental heritage
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee ensured that the Games would create a positive environmental impact through investing in infrastructure that is now reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The high-speed train line that connects the capital city Seoul to the Alpensia mountain region plus Gangneung coastal areas not only provides the economic benefits of better tourism and leisure facilities, but also greatly reduces the amount of vehicles on the road.
PyeongChang 2018 also supercharged the Republic of Korea’s shift towards electric vehicles by producing 24 permanent electric vehicle recharging stations in the areas surrounding the particular venues.
Finally, a wind farm built ahead of the Games that provided 104% of the consolidated energy needed to run PyeongChang 2018, continues to produce renewable energy for the region.
The 2018 Winter Olympics’ lasting contribution to peace
According to The Olympic Charter, “The goal associated with Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. ”
To that end, the annual PyeongChang Peace Forum was established to connect global decision makers and promote the message of peace and explore development through the sharing of ideas, expertise and resources.
A dedicated session has also been created specifically for young people to discuss issues around peace.
In the past two years, the forum has seen ex-United Nations General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces , Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland , and ex-United Nations General Secretary Ki-moon Ban among others take part.
The PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation continues its global sports partnership programmes, like the “PyeongChang Peace Youth Camp, ” which enjoys 100 attendees each year. This initiative, within collaboration with the International Olympic Truce Centre (IOTC), educates and inspires young leaders to work towards the promotion of the Olympic ideals back in their own communities.