Asia again. Once again, the increasingly growing South Korea. Winter sports YOGs don’t stop and leave European territory for the first time. Will it be a trend? Will it be the future that has arrived?
It seems symptomatic that Gangwon is the fourth step in a journey that, until now, had only crossed classic scenarios such as Innsbruck or Lillehammer or the obvious Lausanne, the home of the IOC.
However, in times of severe financial and geopolitical challenges, Olympism continues to send its message of good health. In this case, and especially among young athletes, a mix between objective and obsession of the Olympic authorities as an extra resource to guarantee the best possible future.
On the other hand, although the negotiations were truncated to finally unite the two Koreas in the realization of the competencies. Everything indicates that, once again, positions came closer to what would be an enormous success for the IOC: to decompress on the sports scene a political conflict that, not infrequently, has the planet on its toes.
The Winter Youth Olympic Games will give many young cold sports stars the chance to put their names on the world stage for the first time.
More and more National Olympic Committees (CONs) are taking part in the Winter Games and the diversity of athletes is growing year after year. A Colombian skater was even seen winning a speed medal at Lausanne 2020. Gangwon 2024 will be the first Winter Youth Olympic Games to be held in Asia and, with its 1,900 athletes, they promise to become the most diverse in history.
On October 11, the G-100 event was held by the Organizing Committee to celebrate with the entire South Korean nation the countdown of 100 days to the big event.
Although nominations must normally be associated with specific municipalities, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) respected the organizers’ wishes to keep the name of the province, who from the beginning indicated that their goal was to hold the event together with North Korea.
The South Korean governor of Gangwon, Choi Moon-soon, actively supported the project and insisted that the event should be held on both sides of the border.
Gangwon’s candidacy was largely based on the success of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games. The youth event, which will begin on January 19, will use pre-existing venues that are divided into two large blocks: outdoor mountain competitions, to be held at the Alpensia Sports Park in PyeongChang; and indoor events based on ice rinks, which will take place in Gangneung.
There will be competition in 15 disciplines grouped into seven sports: biathlon, bobsleigh (including skeleton), curling, ice hockey, sledding, skating (including figure skating, short track and speed skating) and skiing (including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combination, ski jumping and snowboarding).
Gangneung coastal park, north of PyeongChang, has indoor sports facilities, including the Hockey Center. The Gangneung Oval will host speed skating, while short track speed skating and artistic speed skating will be held at the same venue’s ice rink.
There are 81 Olympic titles at stake and again there will be gender equality with 34 events, both for men and women.