Some 1,000 volunteers attended the event at the COEX Auditorium, along with the President of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) Lee Hee-beom, Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Roh Tae-kang, and Vice-Minister of Interior and Safety Shim Bo-kyun.
"Passion Crew" is the collective name chosen for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games workforce, including staff, volunteers, cast members of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, security staff and contractors involved in the delivery of PyeongChang 2018. In total, that amounts to around 87,000 people (of whom 56,000 will be working during the Olympic Winter Games and 31,000 during the Paralympic Winter Games).
The launch event in Seoul got underway with members of the “K-smile” campaign (an initiative being spearheaded by Korean university students to boost tourism around the Winter Games) performing a dance alongside Olympic and Paralympic mascots Soohorang and Bandabi.
Prior to the unveiling of the new uniforms, eight volunteers who will be part of the Passion Crew took a special oath, while Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had an inspirational message for the volunteers which was relayed via a giant screen.
“When PyeongChang welcomes all the world, it will be your smiles, and your warm welcome that people will remember forever,” said the IOC President. “Your passion will connect the world with a wonderful Korean culture and well-known hospitality. Volunteering brings out the best in us. And the Games could not happen without your participation. You are an essential part of PyeongChang 2018.
“Let me thank every one of you already now for joining us on this great journey,” continued the IOC President. “Thank you for your dedication and your commitment. Already now, I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in PyeongChang. Thank you.”
The uniform has been designed in bright and bold colours, both to give it a celebratory look and to ensure that those wearing it stand out in crowds, making them easy to identify. The primary colour is red, which, as well as giving the uniform a festive look, is also one of the main colours of the host country’s national flag. The red is offset by trimmings in metal grey. The uniform, which has been created using waterproof, windproof and breathable shell fabric, comprises: a ski jacket, ski pants, a mid jacket, a T-shirt, a knit cap, a backpack, ski gloves and padded boots.
“The Passion Crew are a very important element of the Games,” commented POCOG President Lee Hee-beom. “They will provide service and support across all functional areas, and also help us connect to the general public and be the face of the Games at many locations. They will be able to wear this uniform with pride and share their passion for PyeongChang 2018 with everyone they come into contact with.”
The official uniform clearly met with the approval of those who will be lucky enough to wear it next February. “I’m so proud to be part of the Passion Crew for the Games next year and it was really exciting to see the uniform being unveiled,” said Kim Jong-bae, one of the 20,389 Passion Crew volunteers who will complete their training for PyeongChang 2018 over the coming months. “I really like it and think we will all look really smart and be able to stay warm!”