Two years after the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the legacy of the Games lives on, as Gangwon looks ahead to hosting the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2024. The Olympic venues continue to host international sports events this winter season as Gangwon moves ahead with its vision of expanding new horizons of sport. The province is hosting youth sports camps and educational programmes, and is establishing international partnerships for global peace initiatives.
Winter Youth Olympic Games
The fourth edition of the Winter YOG will be held in Gangwon province in 2024, and for the first time in Asia. Gangwon 2024 builds on the strong legacy of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, building on their vision to open up new horizons in sport by bringing sport to a new generation of winter athletes. Gangwon 2024 will use many of the facilities from the Games in PyeongChang, and will give young athletes the opportunity to compete in venues where Olympians competed a few years earlier.
Next up: Gangwon 2024 😍 pic.twitter.com/ISs4Im4Avv— Youth Olympic Games (@youtholympics) January 22, 2020
Winter sports events and training facilities
Winter sports fans had the opportunity to visit Olympic venues with the hosting of sports events such as the FIL’s Asian Luge Championships and the IBSF’s Intercontinental Cup in skeleton at the Alpensia Sliding Centre; the IIHF’s Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B at the Gangneung Hockey Centre; and the FIS’s 2020 Alpine Skiing Far East Cup at Yongpyong Resort. The upcoming FIS Snowboard World Cup will take place this month at Phoenix Snow Park. The Korean National Curling Championships were held at the Gangneung Curling Centre last summer.
Olympian Simidele Adeagbo (Nigeria), who competed at PyeongChang 2018, was at the Alpensia Sliding Centre taking part in the IBSF Skeleton Intercontinental Cup, and she shared her positive experience from the Games.
“It’s really an amazing experience to come back to the track that I competed on at the Olympics. It holds so many special memories. I’m really glad that the track is being used, and the legacy of the Olympics in PyeongChang is still living on today.”
On the participation of African athletes in winter sports, she added, “It’s really great to know that Africa is still here in winter sports. When I was in PyeongChang we were really just breaking that barrier in skeleton. It’s great to know that it’s still growing and we’re still seeing African athletes come into this sport, and that legacy is also exciting.”
Winter sports athletes continue to use the PyeongChang Olympic venues for training. Throughout the year, sports training takes place at the Alpensia Cross Country Centre, Alpensia Biathlon Centre and Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.
Youth and sport programmes continue to be offered to students around the country. Managed by the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation, which was created last year, these legacy projects ensure that the country continues to benefit from hosting the Games. The Foundation, which supports international sports events and sports development programmes, also manages educational programmes focused on spreading the Olympic values to young people around the country. This year alone, approximately 20,000 of them will have the opportunity to travel to the Olympic cities of PyeongChang and Gangneung to participate in Olympic values programmes and take part in winter sports programmes. The Foundation also supported the Girls’ Ice Hockey School, which is aimed at getting young girls to participate in this winter sport.
This year’s Dream Programme, an annual cultural and sports camp initiative which began in 2004, had 123 young people from 29 countries with little or no infrastructure to practise winter sports. Youngsters from Kenya and Colombia took part for the first time this year. To date, over 2,000 young people from 84 countries have participated in the programme, which has seen 185 athletes go on to compete in international winter sports competitions, including the Olympic Winter Games.
The Legacy Foundation will host the “Imagine” Peace Camp in PyeongChang this summer in partnership with the International Olympic Truce Foundation, with support from the International Olympic Committee. As part of the programme, 100 participants from around the world will take part in a series of education workshops and sports activities aimed at promoting equality and peace, while exploring the role of sport in the peaceful resolution of conflict.
Peace through Sport Initiatives
The annual PyeongChang Peace Forum takes place this year on the second anniversary of the Games. The Forum has become a global platform for exploring peace and development, and how to promote peace for a sustainable future. As one of their greatest legacies, the PyeongChang Games served to celebrate a world united by sport in peaceful competition.
Gunilla Lindberg, IOC Member and former Chair of the Coordination Commission for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, spoke of the strong legacy of these Games and the role of the upcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games.
“The Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 will continue the strong legacy of the recent Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang and work to achieve our vision of expanding new horizons in sport.
“Gangwon 2024 will continue their vision of bringing sport to a new generation of winter athletes. The hosting of the Winter YOG leverages the significant investment that the Republic of Korea has made in developing winter sport in the country and throughout Asia.”
The fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place in Gangwon province, in the cities of PyeongChang and Gangneung, from 19 January to 2 February 2024.