10 things that made Gwangju Universiade different

As the closing ceremony of the 12 day event will be held tonight, distinct differentiations such as eco & economics to reduce the budget, peace & development through the sports, 

As the closing ceremony of the 12 day event will be held tonight, distinct differentiations such as eco & economics to reduce the budget, peace & development through the sports, IT & communication, education for the universities in the world, and cultural festivals of the Universiade Gwangju have received the spotlight.

Gwangju Universiade has set a new model of international mega-sporting events. The Gwangju Universiade Organizing Committee (GUOC) has decided to reduce the budget and host an event where Gwangju residents and youth all over the world can take part in an ‘EPIC (Eco, Peace, IT, and Culture) Universiade’.

Only 4 out of 69 venues were newly built by using the existing facilities. Nambu University International Aquatics Center is one of the facilities that were newly built for the Universiade Gwangju. It has the most high-tech and eco-friendly swimming venue in Korea and the facilities will be used for the World Aquatics Championships in 2019. Since the property was provided by Nambu University, the entire construction cost was noticeably reduced. The Aquatics Center will be operated and managed by the University after the games. Kwangju Women’s University Universiade Gymnasium was designed to hold exhibitions and concerts after the Universiade. Along with the aquatics center and gymnastic center, the Jinwol International Tennis Court and Gwangju International Archery Center were cost-effective construction projects.

Eco-friendly reconstruction of a 30 year old apartment complex will be utilized the Universiade Athletes Village. The Athletes Village construction project was funded by private capital investments and will be returned to the previous residents after the games which will solve the problem of post utilization.

About 200 billion won (KRW) have been saved by minimizing new venue constructions and secured 100% of the marketing rights.

The GUOC has held various legacy programs, such as the EPICS Forum, Youth Leadership Program (YRP) etc. Gwangju is the first Universiade host city to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the United Nations (UN) to pursue education and development of college students through the sports.

EPICS Forum was held in Gwangju for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015. Worldwide famous professors and experts in each field of ‘Eco,’ ‘Peace,’ ‘IT,’ ‘Culture,’ and ‘Sports’ gave lectures and introduced their thesis to 500 college and graduate students. These students were able to speak out their thoughts, ask questions and discuss topics with speakers.

Youth Leadership Program (YLP) was hosted by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) and Gwangju. YLP was held to empower youth in developing backgrounds and conflict areas. The program helped give the tools and strengthen a community’s capacity to build on its strengths and respond to pressing community needs. Meanwhile, 33 students from 19 countries including four students from the Democratic of People’s Republic of Korea have participated Young Leadership Program in 2013.

Also, the GUOC has donated about 18 million won (KRW) to the Nepalese delegation. The Nepalese athletes were not able to participate in the World University Games due to the earthquake tragedy in Nepal. However, because of the GUOC’s support, they participated in the Universiade to express their passion on sports as athletes and gave hopes to Nepalese people back home.

As Korea is a global IT powerhouse, Universiade Gwangju will be the most efficient and convenient event using Information Technology. In a first for an international sport event, all venues and Athletes Village will buzz with free WiFi. Various Social Networking Services (SNS) such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Kakao Talk, and Tic Toc are used by the organizing committee staff to promote events and communicate efficiently.

Anti-doping and cardiac screening projects were established to raise personal health awareness. The GUOC, International University Sports Federation (FISU), and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published an anti-doping textbook for university students in 5 continents for free to promote and educate anti-doping. Also, free cardiac screening will be provided throughout the games to prevent cardiac injuries.

The cardiac screening takes place in the Athletes Village. Echocardiography assessment, electrocardiogram, blood pressure, and body fat can be measured through ‘Check up your Heart Program,’ which was installed to cognize athletes’ health condition, prevent from cardiac syncope, and produce databases regard to athletes’ health conditions. Average of 100 athletes has used this program per day during the games.

Global youth have expressed their talents and passion outside of the competition venues. Cultural festivals, such as the World Youth Festival and Youth Nanjang Festival were held at Democracy Square in Asia Culture Complex and Geumnam Park from July 4 to July 13.

The GUOC president and mayor of Gwangju Metropolitan City Yoon Jang-hyun came to festivals to encourage the youth. He stated, "I was able to visit Democracy Square because of the efforts from your parents and ancestors. Enjoy your youth and have a great time in Gwangju!"

For more information, please contact:

Jiyoung Lee, Foreign Press Officer

+82 62 616 3663

e-mail: 2015press@gmail.com

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