The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) unveiled details of the PyeongChang victory ceremonies at a special event held at the Press Center in Seoul on Wednesday 27 December.
Guests and the media were given a close look at the victory ceremony host uniforms, the podium, the awards tray, and the gifts that will be presented to medallists. They also heard the music that will be played at each of the 103 Olympic and 80 Paralympic victory ceremonies, the first of which will take place at the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza on 10 February 2018. The ceremonies will be staged at the Medal Plaza in PyeongChang’s Olympic Plaza between 7pm and 9pm.
Comprising skirts for women and trousers for men, the uniforms that will be worn by the medal bearers and the athlete escorts each come with a hat and scarf and are designed to keep out the chill of the Korean winter. Known as a pungcha, the hat gives a modern twist to a traditional design. Drawing on the Republic of Korea’s national flag for inspiration, the uniforms are red, white and blue in colour and bear a snowflake pattern and characters from the Korean alphabet.
“I wanted to show the Republic of Korea’s identity and tried to bring a modern touch to our traditional wardrobe,” said the designer of the uniforms, Geum Key-sook, a professor of textile arts and fashion design at Hongik University in Seoul. “It was important to create a wearer-friendly outfit.”
Designed by Han Kyung-woo, a professor of installation art at Seoul National University of Science and Technology, the podium on which the medallists will proudly stand also encapsulates Korean tradition and design.
White in colour to reflect snowflakes and the snow plains of PyeongChang, the podium is inspired by traditional giwa roof tiles and dancheong, a time-honoured form of painting seen on Korean wooden buildings. Easy to move and install, the podium also provides wheelchair access.
Instead of flowers, medallists at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang will be given a doll of the Games mascot Soohorang wearing a gold, silver or bronze hat and a paper flower known as an uhsahwa. They will also receive a wooden gift adorned with mountain scenes of PyeongChang and characters from the Korean Hangul alphabet spelling out “PyeongChang” in the official Games motif. Paralympic medal winners will be given a doll of their Games mascot, Bandabi, wearing an uhsahwa.
The gifts will be presented from a special ceremony tray with a non-slip surface. Like the podium, its simple design also features a traditional housing motif.
The victory ceremony theme music has been composed by Cho Young-soo, who has written songs for well-known K-pop groups such as SG Wannabe and T-ara.
Medal winners at both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be recognised at the venue immediately after their competitions and then again at the PyeongChang Medal Plaza that evening as part of a wider cultural celebration.
Ticket holders for each day are invited to join in the evening celebrations and watch the world’s best winter sports athletes take their places on the podium with pride.
Speaking at the presentation event, POCOG President Lee Hee-beom said the victory ceremonies will be a festival for athletes and fans alike: “We will strive to show the Republic of Korea’s unique culture and beauty to the world. As well as being one of the most important moments in the lives of the athletes, the ceremonies will also be a festival of culture for the fans.
“The unveiling of our venue and victory ceremony details today is another exciting step towards the start of the Games in February. The design of all the elements we have presented today are unique to Korea. They are a wonderful way of sharing yet more of our culture with the world, and we hope that the gifts, along with our superb medal designs, will be cherished by all the medallists who receive them.”