100th National Sports Festival Slated for Oct. in Seoul
Torch relay events will be held at the levels equivalent to those of the previous Olympics with torch relay spanning 17 municipalities and provinces for the first time since the beginning of the festival, stretching a total of 2,019 km
A poster to publicize the 100th National Sports Festival, to be held from Oct. 4 to Oct. 10 at 72 sports facilities, including the Jamsil Main Stadium.
The 100th National Sports Festival and 39th National Para Games will be held in Seoul in October for the first time in 33 years, since the 67th national sports event took place in 1986.
The national festival, marking the 100th anniversary this year, dates back to the first whole Joseon baseball event, which took place at Baejae High School in Seoul in 1920.
Approximately 30,000 athletes from 17 cities and provinces, plus 18 overseas sport contingents, will compete in 47 sports.
The events will be held from Oct. 4 to Oct. 10 at 72 sports facilities, including the Jamsil Main Stadium.
About 9,000 players, sports leaders and parents will participate in 30 sports during the 39th National Para Games, to be held from Oct. 15 and Oct. 19 at 3t sports facilities.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon waves at the flag of the 100th National Sports Festival at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on Nov. 14, 2018.
Torch relay events will be held at levels equivalent to those of the previous Olympics. A torch relay will span 17 municipalities and provinces for the first time since the beginning of the festival, stretching a total of 2,019 km. Over 1,100 people from all parts of society will participate as torchbearers.
On Sept. 22, torches will be lit at symbolic places throughout Korea: Dokdo at 6 a.m., the place of the earliest sunrise in the nation, Mt. Manisan at 10 a.m., the official place to light a torch designated by Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Panmunjeom at 2 p.m., to send out a message of peace and unification, and Marado Island at 6 p.m., the place of the latest sunset in the country.
The flame, which will be lit at Mt. Mani, will travel to eight major tourist destinations of the nation, including Aune Market in Cheonan, Hanok Village in Jeonju, and the Soyang River in Chuncheon for an eight-day run before being integrated with the torches from Dokdo, Panmunjeom and Marado Island into one in Seoul.
The merged flame, plus another for the national Para Games, will be relayed around Seoul’s 25 autonomous ward areas and then the Seoulo 7017, the Museum Village at Donuimun, the Gwanghwamun Plaza, the Seoul subway network and Seoul’s night flea markets before entering the Jamsil Main Stadium on Oct. 4, the opening day.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), recognizing flames as wish for peace, is considering preserving the flame for the 100th National Sports Festival along with the fame of the 1988 Seoul Olympics until the 2032 Seoul-Pyongyang Olympics Seoul is seeking to jointly host with North Korean capital.
The Bank of Korea will issue 10,000 30,000-won silver coins in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the national sports festival. Composer and Conductor Won Il, who served as music director of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, has been appointed to be executive director of the national sports festival.
Commemorative performances of Korean Wave stars, performances by a chair consisting of 2,019 people, including citizens, foreigners and the disabled, and fireworks over the Han River will be arranged.
A placard of the 100th National Sports Festival Seoul City Hall is hung at the facade of Seoul City Hall.
Under the motif of body, dance, sound, and light, they will convey the message “the 100-year past and the 100-year future we all will make.”
Exhibitions and photo fairs, which will highlight a wealth of memorabilia such as winners’ flags of national sports festivals, flame containers, and medals to reflect 100-year history of the national sports festival, will be held at the Seoul History Musuem and the East Gate Stadium Memorial Museum between Aug. 20 and Sept. 30 at the Jamsil Sports Complex between Oct. 1 and Oct. 19.
A combined 7,777 civic volunteers, the most ever, will participate in the upcoming sports festival along with 10,000 civic supporters. The supporters, consisting of 400 people selected from each of 25 autonomous wards, will be in charge of watching sports, cheering and publicity events.
The upcoming national sports festival will coincide with a sports festival of foreigners staying here, a side event, in which an estimated 500 foreign residents and multicultural families will participate.
SMG plans to provide 3,714 vehicles to transport about 39,000 athletes expected to compete in the sports festival.
The metropolitan government surveyed the current status of 2,013 accommodation facilities with a combined 89,058 rooms and 2,672 eateries, which will be made available to accommodate athletes of the national sports festival.
Haetti and Haeon, the mascots of the 100th National Sports Festival. (Photos: SMG)
Director General Joo Yong-tae of the Tourism & Sports Bureau at the SMG said, “The 100th National Sports Festival will be a watershed in a long journey of the Korean sports history covering the contemporary history and the most historic event.”
“It will be an sports festival in which all –not only Seoulites but also Korean people, foreign residents in Korea, and overseas Korean residents – can enjoy together, and we’ll do our best to make our hosting of the 100th National Sports Festival a success, which would lead to the hosting of the 2032 Seoul-Pyongyang Olympics,” he added.
Meanwhile, Seoul City will take out fierce online and offline advertisement for the festival as well. The ICT Experience Center of the National Sports Festival, where visitors can experience the sports events of the National Sports Festival thanks to the ICT technologies, such as VR and AI, will be in operation at Jamsil Sports Complex in October.
The National Sports Festival will take place at 84 existing stadiums in Seoul and other cities and provinces, including Jangchung Arena, Jamsil Students’ Gymnasium, and Olympic Gymnastics Arena, instead of building new stadiums, aiming to hold the sports festival in an economic fashion.
Safety inspection of facilities have been conducted twice between June and August by external specialists and related institutions in order to offer an environment where visitors can relax and enjoy their visit.