Thomas Bach, chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who built a friendly image with finger hearts and casual selfie shots every time he came to Korea, evaluated the 2024 Gangwon Youth Olympics (hereinafter referred to as Gangwon 2024) as a successful competition and thanked and congratulated Gangwon Province and the organizing committee of the competition.
Chairman Bach held a press conference on the settlement of accounts with reporters at the main media center (MMC) at the Gangneung Green City Experience Center ahead of the closing ceremony of Gangwon 2024, saying, “This is a competition that makes good use of the legacy of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.”
In particular, Tunisian and Thai athletes, who grew up to be winter Olympians through the dream program, Pyeongchang’s “soft heritage,” won silver medals, respectively in bobsleigh monobobs (single-seater), saying, “Thanks to the Pyeongchang Olympics, which opened a ‘new horizon’, 14 people participated in Gangwon 2024 through the dream program, giving the world special solidarity.”
The dream program began in 2004 under the sponsorship of the 2018 Pyeongchang Memorial Foundation and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Gangwon State under the pledge to host the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. 꽁머니지급
Many athletes participated in projects designed to provide experience and training programs such as skiing and skating to teenagers in developing countries with difficult access to winter sports, and to promote cultural exchange and global friendship through sports were great winter sports talents in each country.
Chairman Bach also introduced, “The IOC also provided $37 million (about 49.3 billion won) to successfully hold this competition.”
According to the IOC’s explanation, the IOC spent $10 million on air and lodging expenses for athletes from 78 countries participating in the event, and provided $3.7 million in cash to the Gangwon 2024 Organizing Committee.
The IOC said that $25 million was spent on the IOC budget and $12 million was spent on the Olympic Solidarity Fund.
“As of the 28th of last month, 30% of Koreans watched Gangwon 2024 on TV, and 75% were aware of Gangwon 2024,” Bach said. “In the United States, millions of people watched the Olympics on NBC and talked about Gangwon 2024 on social platforms.”
The number of Gangwon 2024 cases mentioned on social platforms such as social networking services (SNS) is 250 million, which is unprecedented for the Youth Olympics, Bach added.
Chairman Bach said he would actively utilize broadcasting technology and new platforms tested in Gangwon 2024 at the Paris Summer Olympics in July.
Finally, Chairman Bach said, “In Gangwon 2024, athletes and Olympic family members feel great satisfaction,” and predicted, “If the athletes who participated participate in the adult Olympics using this competition as a stepping stone, they will be greatly helped in preparing for the competition without shrinking.”
Bach said the venue for the 2028 Winter Youth Olympics will be decided at the end of this year or early next year.
Accordingly, there is no order for the Olympic flag to be handed over to the next host country at the closing ceremony on the 1st.
Chairman Bach, who was deeply moved by the hospitality of volunteers, left the MMC and presented a specially produced IOC badge with a heart-shaped ring and took pictures with it.