The fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympics opened in the eastern part of South Korea on Friday with a celebration of dreams for young people and their potential to achieve them.Gangwon Province will be the host of the youth competition, open to athletes between 15 and 18 years of age, until Feb. 1. This is the first Winter Youth Olympics being held outside Europe, as South Korea follows Austria, Norway and Switzerland.With 1,802 athletes representing 78 nations, it is also the largest Winter Youth Olympics ever. They will be competing in 81 events in seven sports and 15 disciplines. The host South Korea will have the biggest delegation with 102 athletes.
The 90-minute opening ceremony was held simultaneously at two locations: Gangneung Oval, the speed skating venue in Gangneung, some 160 kilometers east of Seoul, and Pyeongchang Dome in Pyeongchang, just west of Gangneung.The oval hosted athletes and the main ceremony with performances by dancers and K-pop acts, while the dome held other performances featuring K-pop stars.Gangneung will hold all ice events during the youth competition, while Pyeongchang will be home to snow events such as ski jumping and biathlon. Pyeongchang was the main host city of the 2018 Winter Olympics, with Gangneung also hosting ice events then. Jeongseon, a county near Pyeongchang, will hold alpine skiing and freestyle skiing’s moguls events, while another neighboring county, Hoengseong, will stage the remaining freestyle skiing events — slopestyle, halfpipe, big air and ski cross and snowboarding.
All events will be free, and spectators can book their free vouchers online at gangwon2024.com. There will be cultural performances for visitors on the sidelines. The story of the opening ceremony was built around a fictional, Gangwon-bred girl named “Woori,” whose name translates as “we” or “us,” and also can signify the act of being together. The ceremony followed Woori’s pursuit of her dream of becoming an astronaut, and the creative staff for the ceremony said Woori represented Koreans who have turned their dreams into reality.Six winter sport athletes from South Korea, former and active, carried their national flag, the Taegeukgi, into the oval: short track speed skater Seo Whi-min, biathlete Kim Yong-gyu, figure skater Lee Hae-in, bobsledder Jun Jung-lin, hockey player Ahn Kun-young and speed skater Lee Kang-seok.After the raising of both the Taegeukgi and the Olympic flag, President Yoon Suk Yeol, as head of state for the host nation, declared the Youth Olympics open.
The final leg of the torch relay began at Pyeongchang Dome and wrapped up at Gangneung Oval, where the Olympic cauldron was ignited.Yun Sung-bin, the 2018 Olympic men’s skeleton champion, started the final journey of the torch, and handed the flame over to Park Ha-eun and Park Ga-eun, the sisters competing in short track speed skating.Former skater Park Seung-hi, who won two gold medals in short track and later switched to speed skating, served as the third torchbearer.Lee Jeong-min, a 17-year-old freestyle skier competing in Gangwon, had the honor of lighting the Youth Olympic cauldron.The ceremony featured a digital flame, the first of its kind in Youth Olympics history. Powered by cloud computing technology, the digital flame will stay lit throughout the two-week competition and will also change its color based on 카지노사이트킹 real-time weather data in Gangwon.