“Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO) is preparing to make the great legacies of the 1988 Seoul Olympics known worldwide and convey the values of the legacies to the next generations,” KSPO Chairman Cho Hyun-jae said.
To this end, KSPO declared a vision of spreading the Olympic legacy last September. KSPO plans to expand exchanges and cooperation with Olympic host cities of the world as part of efforts to make the legacies of the Seoul Olympics known worldwide, he said. KSPO will host the 1st Olympic Legacy Forum this October.
The following are excerpts of a written interview with KSPO Chairman Cho, in which he spoke of KSPO’s tasks and plans for this year.
Question: Would you introduce KSPO to our readers?
Answer: KSPO was established with 352.1 billion won in surplus that was left behind at the end of the 1988 Seoul Olympics to commemorate the Olympics.
The foundation shoulders more than 90 percent of the money which the Korean government currently spends on sports by implementing diverse fundraising projects, including bicycle racing and motorboat racing and Betting Tickets (Sports Toto).
We spearhead efforts to make all people lead a healthy and happy life by expanding sports facilities near homes, spreading exercise programs, nurturing the sports industry and studying sports science.
Q: One year has passed since you took office. What achievements have you made so far?
A: Looking back at 2021, KSPO concentrated on performing its own roles, creating jobs in the sports industry and working out plans to revamp a fundraising business structure.
First, KSPO managed to play a role as a representative entity of the sports sector by raising and supporting 1,727.1 billion won, the most-ever one, despite hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, we created 28,625 jobs, the most-ever, by implementing projects to support employment of indoor sports facilities and non-face-to-face sports coaching professional development projects to expand jobs in the sports field.
We yielded tangible outcomes, such as 520,000 beneficiaries of an indoor sport coupon project (a coupon holder had 30,000 won refunded after charging more than 80,000 won at a sport facility).
Two revision bills had been passed last year, bringing about great changes in the fundraising business. One was a revision bill of the Act on Bicycle Racing and Motorboat Racing, which was passed by the National Assembly last May.
Another revision bill was passed by the parliament last December, paving the way for public management of Betting Tickets (Sports Toto).
KSPO innovated the structure of the bicycle racing and motorboat racing business, which was launched last Aug. 6, into a mobile-based one while preparing ways of efficiently operating the Betting Tickets (Sports Toto) business in accordance with of public management for public interests, rather than pursuing corporate profits.
Q: KSPO announced a vision of spreading the Olympic legacies last September. Could you please speak about projects related to the Olympic legacies this year?
A: Olympic legacies means the phenomena of continuously passing down tangible, intangible structures and influences, which were yielded by the hosting of the Olympics, into not only the venue city, but also the whole of society, including the national politics, economy, culture, environment, and sports.
KSPO is preparing for making the great legacies of the Seoul Olympics known to people, and conveying the values of the legacy to the next generations.
Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO) declared a vision of spreading the Olympic values at Olympic Park in Songpa-gu, Seoul, last Sept. 17. (Photos: KSPO)
To this end, KSPO declared a vision of spreading the Olympic legacies, titled “Becoming Global Values beyond Olympic Legacies” last September. KSPO plans to expand exchanges and cooperation with Olympic host cities of the world as part of efforts to make excellent legacies of the Olympics known worldwide.
KSPO will host the 1st Olympic Legacy Forum under the theme “Next G Through Olympic Legacy” this October. The forum is designed to look into the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the present perspective, and spread Olympic values through intangible legacies beyond tangible things.
The forum aims to build a cooperative system with Olympic management bodies and contribute to promoting peace of the world beyond the Korean Peninsula and cooperation by publicizing the Seoul Olympic legacies to the world.
When I was in Beijing Winter Olympics, I met the IOC President Thomas Bach, who gave a definite answer on his participation in the forum.
KSPO is preparing to play a leading role in the spread of “global peace,” a representative movement of the Olympics, and the meaning of the legacies.
KSPO strives to reinterpret Olympic Park, a representative legacy of the Seoul Olympics, and increase the values of the park.
In 2017, IOC published the “Legacy Strategic Approach.” In the book, IOC cited Olympic Park as an example of a new information hub in which people can experience the legacies of the Seoul Olympics, such as sports facilities and architecture parks.
Besides, the sports stadium that was used for 1988 Seoul Olympics has attempted to transform the facility into a multiplex cultural space.
A whole view of KSPO’s Dome, created through renewing of a gymnastics stadium of 1988 Seoul Olympics.
The gymnastics stadium of Olympic Park has been remodeled into KSPO Dome, a space for Korean and foreign large-sized concerts and other cultural events. K-art hall has changed into a K-pop online experience performance center last December.
We’ve begun to prepare for remodeling Velodrome into Velopark. The venue is a multi-purpose facility in which people can enjoy music concerts, E-sports, drone sports, exhibitions and content related to bicycling.
The “Sports Value Center,” scheduled to be opened in June 2023, is expected to come up with experience exhibition programs.
The programs will be combined with ICT technologies so MZ generations can experience the Olympic legacies vividly.
Q: As the “Green New Deal” and carbon neutrality are gaining importance of late globally and in Korea, ESG has emerged as a management trend. Would you elaborate on outcomes of ESG management KSPO has implemented?
A: The government announced “K-ESG,” a guideline on Korean ESG at a cabinet meeting last December. K-ESG will be the foremost guideline for sustainable management among public entities.
KSPO declared 2021 as the first year of ESG and implemented ESG management by adding values to major projects under the catchphrase “Sustainable Future with Sports.”
First, KSPO has implanted its major projects on green transition.
In particular, KSPO makes an effort to spearhead green transition of infrastructure for sports for all by installing eco-friendly systems at 65 public sports centers, the government’s representative living SOC, at cost of additional 71 billion won in accordance with a global trend of raising the energy efficiency of sports facilities and in the conjunction with the government’s Green New Deal policies.
Olympic Sport Complex and KSPO Value Center, which is being newly built, will be equipped with energy self-sufficiency green infrastructure like geothermal energy and photovoltaic power generation units by spending 5 billion won.
The innovative change in bicycle racing and motorboat racing projects to online purchase will reduces paper use. In addition, development of EV motorboats for motorboat racing and non-face-to-face fitness programs of the “Public Fitness 100 Project” will lead to eco-friendly transition for carbon neutrality.
Also, KSPO took a step of exempting or reducing rents worth 1.5 billion won to tenant firms and athletic entities, occupants of its facilities, buffed by the impacts of the pandemic, last year.
KSPO’s motorboat racing training center was converted into a COVID-19 treatment center designed to accommodate immigrants from foreign countries.
The center accommodated 2,998 occupants, contributing to disinfecting the COVID-19 of the region and promoting win-win cooperation and shared growth with regional community and stakeholders.
ESG, which began to attract public attention due to the pandemic in 2020, has now become a must-be thing for the establishment of corporate strategies and the direction of the operation of public entities.
I think it’s the same in the sport sector. To this end, KSPO struck an MOU on the implementation of ESG management with five sports public entities last Dec. 27.
We plan to purse ESG management specializing in the sports sector by exploring ESG collaboration businesses, eco-friendly campaigns targeting the sports community and ways of promoting shared growth with regional communities in cooperation with sports-related organizations.
Q: Would you elaborate on fundraising projects related to bicycle racing and motorboat racing KSPO implements?
A: KSPO shoulders more than 90 percent of the money which the Korean government currently spends on sports by raising the national sports promotion fund by implementing by cycle racing, motorboat racing and betting ticket businesses.
Bicycle racing and motorboat racing businesses will continue to develop new products such as ones on mobile racing and small-sized unmanned outlets, a departure from the conventional mode of attracting a large number of customers.
KSPO plans to ramp up shared growth and cooperation with regional society by developing EV motorboats in accordance with the implementation of ESG management, supporting COVID-19 testing centers of motorboat racing sites and the operating of the motorboat racing training center as a COVID-19 treatment center.