PYEONGCHANG, May 16, 2017 - In February 2018, the world’s attention will shift towards South Korea’s PyeongChang, host city of Winter Olympic Games; the event that will provide services such as medical assistance for media and 5G network for the first time in Olympics history.
But first, make you sure you end up in the South Korean city not in Pyongyang, capital of neighbor country North Korea.
Choi Moon-soon, Governor of Gangwon province warned journalists about that when he took the stage at the 80th AIPS Congress in PyeongChang.
“We had a test event for PyeongChang 2018 and there was a Kenyan journalist who ended up in Pyongyang, so make sure where to go when you come to cover the Games next year. PyeongChang yes, Pyongyang no”, he said with a smile, addressing the 200 journalists present at the global summit.
The organizers are making sure that the Games will bring to the competitions the real meaning of the host city name; Pyeong which means “peace” and Chang which means “prosperity”.
Birth of media medical assistance
For the first time in the Games history, journalists will be provided by medical assistant thanks to the Korea Sports Media Medical Aid (KSMMA).
Sungu Park representative of KSMMA revealed the story that pushed him to take this initiative.
“At Rio 2016, a call came one evening without notice: "Please help me, I am hurt but I don’t know what to do." A reporter was in trouble with sudden injury and I thought about a way to help out. Journalists got injured and I always did the best I could. At the greatest festival of all mankind there are harsh realities behind the scenes.”
“After I came back to Korea, I thought about something and now the world’s first medical support for sports media starts.”
The Sports Media Medical Support Center will be located in Gangneung, inside the Media Village and will provide a 24-hour medical support service, a general medical service and professional treatment for any injury, a sports massage that washes away the fatigue of the day and various social events.
And as their slogan says: “It starts in PyeongChang. But it does not end in PyeongChang”, KSMMA will be present in various sports events after the 2-18 Olympics including the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018, Universiade Napoli 2019, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Winter Universiade Lucerne 2021 and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Highest technology in Olympics history
Thanks to ICT (Information and Communications Technology), PyeongChang 2018 will be the playground to experience new high-end technologies as world leading ICT services will be introduced to make sports more exciting and enjoyable - to both experience and cover.
Sang-jin Oh, Director General of ICT and Future Planning said: “A wide range of technologies will be showcased at the Games such as 5G network; mobile services will be utilized at the highest speed ever, 20 times faster than 4G.”
“Artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) will be used to provide convenient services for spectators such as autonomous translation (GenieTalk app), road guidance and autonomous vehicle.”
Also, broadcasters will air the event on ultra-high definition (UHD) broadcasts and Virtual Reality (VR) will be used to broadcast realistic and vivid scenes to the world.
“Spectators around the world will enjoy the Games as if they are in the stadiums.” Sang-jin Oh concluded.
Environmentally friendly Games
PyeongChang 2018 will mark the beginning of the Asian era in Olympics history with Korea, Japan and China becoming the hub of sports for the next four years.
“All the venues [in PyeongChang] are reachable within 30 minutes which make them the most compact structure in Olympics history. 90% of the athletes will reach their competitions venues within ten minutes from their accommodations so they can perform their best ability,” said Nancy Park of the LOC.
The journalists had the chance to visit some of the Games venues during their presence at AIPS Congress such as the Ski jumping Center and Gangneung Ice Arena.
“If you look around you, there are windmills everywhere in PyeongChang region. We need more than 190 megawatts of electricity during the Olympics period, all that electricity will come from reusable energies, our Games will be environmentally friendly and currently there are about 170 megawatts producing weight so we are at 93%,” the LOC guide said to the journalists at the Ski Jumping Center venue.
“More windmills are being installed right now so next year we will overachieve the commitment we made to the IOC in the bid file that all the electricity will be reusable energies,” he explained.
Moving to Gangneung Ice Arena, home to the Figure Skating and Short Track Speed Skating competitions, there was something special about the largest ice venue of the Games with a capacity of 12 000 spectators.
“The unique thing about this venue is that we have two different discipline events on the same ring at the same day. Figure Skating in the morning and Short Track in the afternoon, which is something difficult to handle.
“Figure skaters need softer ice because they have to jump, do crazy spins and land on ice, while Short Track skaters need harder ice as they travel 40 Km/h and if there is a crack on the ice they may fall and get injured. It is a magic that we had to create to turn the competition venue into a totally different one in four hours through technology.
“Figure skaters want -4 degree Celsius ice ring while Short Track skaters need -7 degree Celsius so underneath the concrete there is a very expensive cooling plant technology to make everything possible,” he concluded.
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