Come and See! The Soon-To-Open and Exciting 2013 Chungju World Rowing Championships
2,300 athletes from 80 countries to participate in the first global rowing event in Korea to be telecast live for 3 billion worldwide viewers
Athletes ready to go rowing.
The exciting 2013 World Rowing Championships is set to take place at the International Rowing Regatta at Tangeum Lake in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1 this year with 2,300 athletes from 80 countries participating, including the team from the United Kingdom, the mother country of the sport, with a live broadcast that can potentially reach 3 billion viewers throughout the world. The Organizing Committee of the global rowing event, the first global rowing event to take place in Korea and to be telecast live to many countries in the world, held a D-50 preparation report rally on the progress of the preparation of the global rowing event on June 26, featuring among others, a rowing dance and films on the progress of preparations with a number of star pop singers helping jazz up the event.
A scene of an international rowing event
Kim Eun-sook, deputy Director of the International Sports Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the sports event, with a main theme of ‘Rowing the World,’ expects to give Chungju a rebirth as a global water leisure resort city during the water sports event. MBC-TV’s rowing coach on the Limitless Challenge, Kim Ji-ho, has been named an ad model for the global rowing event, Yoon Jongho, Culture & PR Director of Organizing Committee of the 2013 Chungju World Rowing Championships said.
According to a feasibility study made by the External Economic Policy Research Institute, the productivity from the rowing championship competition would amount to 115.9 billion won, with 51.2 billion won in added-value, and the creation of around 1,440 jobs.
Chairman of the Organizing Committee Gov. Lee Si-jong of North Chungcheong Province said the committee has been doing its best to make the global sports event a great success. In order to strengthen the preparation of the venues for the event, the members of the organizing committee have recently been increased to 258 from 100.
Among the new members are Mayor Han Bum-deok of Cheongju City, Chancellor Han Keun of Konkuk University Global Campus, heads of organizations and groups in the province, and other personnel who have connections in such areas as sports, academics, politics, and journalism, particularly those in the sports diplomacy circles.
Gov. Lee Si-jong of North Chungcheong Province, and chairman of the
Organizing Committee of the 2013 Chungju World Rowing Championships.
The campaign to bring large participating countries has been pushed along as well. As of the end of May, 73 countries agreed to send their athletes, which will surpass the largest rowing competition event so far held in Slovenia in 2011, which had 68 nations participate. The Organizing Committee, not satisfied with the number so far reached, will keep its campaign going until the number of nations reaches 80 as targeted. The target nations have been divided among committee members under what has been named the “attraction strategy,” which is tailored to each nation.
The committee is seeking participation of the nations that participated in the 2012 London Olympics Rowing Asian Preliminary Event held in Chungju last year, especially those nations that have yet to clearly respond to the invitation. The committee will also invite 15 nations that are too poor to send their athletes to the event in a bid to further globalize the rowing competition.
The preparations for the global event have been progressing very well. The competition venues have already been completed and the construction of roads leading to the venues are in their final stages, the Organizing Committee said. The construction of the international rowing competition venues kicked off four years ago and so far have most of their main structures have been completed including the grandstand, the finish tower, the marine center, the boat house, and connection roads, among others, making it a top-class rowing event arena.
The installations for the rowing event will be used in diverse ways to help the local economy after the event, the organizing committee said. The grandstand will be used as viewing stand or a classroom for cultural experience, the marina center as a caf? or restaurant, the boathouse as a youth hostel or a classroom for rowing, and the relay roads as roads for walking.
The network of roads to improve accessibility to the event venues are close to the finishing stages. For the sake of the safe travel of athletes and the viewers to Tangeum Lake, the entire country was divided up into four sections and work is being done on 11 roads and highways either to expand them or repair them before the rowing event opens.
The finishing touches are being made on the highways that foreign athletes who will enter the country through Incheon International Airport and visitors from the Seoul area will use, such as the Chungbu Inland Highway, the North Chungju IC, and national support roads, and local roads before the event’s opening in August. Some of those highways and roads were scheduled to be completed by the end of next year, but their completion will be pulled up in consideration of the rowing event. Some 18.4 billion won will be secured to complete the highways and roads designed to improve access to the event.
The East-West Expressway, to be used by the people in Daejeon, South Chungcheong Province, and the Honam region, will be completed.
Other roads, such as those to be used by those coming from the Gangwon and Gyeong-sang regions, including the national highway between Yongdu and Kumga, which was completed in June, and the Kakum-Cheolkum National Support Local Road will have its ascon pavement and safety installations completed this month.
The lodging, dining, and transportation facilities are being prepared as scheduled with lodging facilities for athletes totaling 1,979 rooms already secured including ondol rooms and rooms accommodating from one to two athletes a night, therefore, no problem is expected to accommodate the entire 2,300 athletes expected to converge at Tangeum Lake.
The Organizing Committee will have more than 100 buses to transport the athletes from their lodging facilities to the venue of the rowing event. There will be 10 dining facilities at the venues of the event and the lodging facilities providing meals for 6,000 people daily with foods prepared especially for adherents of particular religions and athletes’ preferences. Some 800 volunteers will work at the venues of the event.
There have been all kinds of ongoing campaigns and promotional events to bring attention to the World Rowing Champ-ionships, because public support is crucial for the event’s success. Since May, tickets for the event became available at such places as Shinhan Bank branches around the country.
A scene of the 2007 Asian Rowing Championships(Photos:The Organizing Committee for the 2013 Chungju World Rowing Championships)