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‘PyeongChang Winter Olympics is full of surprises’

Posted February. 21, 2018 07:58,   

Updated February. 21, 2018 07:58


“I will provide the world’s first 5th Generation (5G) experience at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics,” pronounced KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu, who made a key note speech at the World Mobile Congress (WBC), the world’s largest mobile exposition, in Barcelona, Spain in March 2015. This was attributed to NTT Docomo of Japan’s proclamation to develop 5G for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. There was not even enough time to develop equipment and network. Three years later, however, his promise became a reality. “Spectators at the PyeongChang Olympics aren't just getting to watch the ultimate showdown in winter sports. They're also witnessing the most high-tech Olympic Games in history,” said CNN Money on Monday (local time).

The focus of foreign press regarding the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is not just limited to high-technology. The New York Times introduced seafood and pork dishes that people can enjoy in Pyeongchang and Gangneung while the internet version of Sports Illustrated shared a video clip of cuttlefish ink ice cream sold in Jumunjin. The fact that The Washington Post described Korea’s joint team entrance as “a moment that may well define these Olympic Games,” and Le Monde reported the games to be “a new step of journey towards gender equality” by pointing out the record high proportion of female athletes, demonstrates the political and social definition of the Olympic Games.

Athletes from the host country, South Korea, also amazed the world. The South Korean female curling team, also known as the “Garlic Girls” who beat strong players, was at the center of this whirl wind. The Wall Street Journal called them the “Giant Killer.” The New York Times and USA Today described the breakneck speed of the host country’s skeleton racer Yoon Sung-bin as “a performance that could be seen once in centuries,” and “a guaranteed gold medal,” respectively. The sprint of South Korean female short track team, who established a new record in Olympic Games even after falling down at the trials, was also sufficient enough to astonish the world.

With a stable display of Olympic rings by drones at the opening ceremony, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was complimented as “a colorful ceremony of fire and ice” (Reuter). The accommodations and high-quality food at the Olympic Village also drew favorable comments from participants. The PyeongChang Winter Olympics has passed its halfway point and entered its finishing step. It has already surprised the world. It is now time to become an Olympic Game that lasts in the memories of the world.

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com