The ceremony was attended by Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for PyeongChang 2018; Jin-sun Kim, the President of POCOG; Jinryong Yoo, the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Moon-soon Choi, Governor of Gangwon Province; Jung-haeng Kim, President of the Korean Olympic Committee; and Sang-hwa Lee, Olympic gold medallist in speed skating. A congratulatory message was also delivered on behalf of Geun-hye Park, the President of the Republic of Korea.
Where the earth meets the sky
The emblem’s design has its roots in Hangul, with the shapes that form the logo stemming from the first consonants of each syllable in the word “PyeongChang” when it is written in Hangul. The first character in the emblem also represents a gathering place where the three elements of Cheon-ji-in – heaven, earth, and human – are in harmony. The second character symbolises snow and ice, as well as the athletes’ stellar performances. PyeongChang 2018’s new emblem symbolises a grand gathering of people from all around the world in celebration of Olympic winter sports, which is taking place in the harmonious land of PyeongChang – “A square where the earth meets the sky, and where athletes excel in snow or on ice - that’s where everyone will celebrate the world’s biggest winter festival in 2018.”
Discovering Culture and Traditions
Commenting on the emblem, IOC President Jacques Rogge said, “I would like to congratulate the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee on the launch of its innovative new emblem. As an athlete, part of the excitement of participating in the Games is discovering the culture and traditions of the host country, and for the PyeongChang Games, that discovery begins today with this new identity. Combining elements of the Korean alphabet and oriental philosophy, this new brand will allow people to immediately connect with Korea and the 2018 Games vision of New Horizons. I wish PyeongChang 2018 a great deal of success in sharing this new emblem with the world.”
Celebrate in Harmony
Commission Chair Lindberg said after the ceremony, “In just under five years’ time, PyeongChang 2018 will welcome athletes and spectators from around the world to celebrate in harmony at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games. This new emblem truly reflects those values and PyeongChang and Korea’s commitment to staging truly outstanding Games that will create new horizons for winter sport and the Olympic Movement in Korea and across Asia. I would therefore like to congratulate the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee for its work and commitment to turning its brand vision into a reality.”
Traditional Korean Colours
The emblem uses five traditional Korean colours – black, blue/green, yellow, red, and white – which is the same colour scheme as that found in the Olympic flag. Traditionally, blue and green were represented by a single word in Hangul but this has now changed, with separate words now existing for each. The five cardinal colours are found in many aspects of daily life and tradition in Korea, including in clothing, celebrations, martial arts, architecture, art and food.
President Kim of POCOG commented, “Our Games preparations will certainly gain momentum in light of today’s launch of the emblem. I wish that all of us at POCOG and residents of Gangwon Province as well as Koreans involved in sports, culture and business take the ownership of delivering one of the most successful Games in Olympic history, with the same passion and spirit that we demonstrated throughout our bid efforts.”
Across All Communications
The development process of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic emblem was masterminded by Jong-joo Ha, who is known for his branding expertise that spans a wide range of projects, such as the corporate identity designs of major global corporations. This new emblem will now be used by PyeongChang 2018 across all its communications until the end of the Games.