By Min Yea-Ji and Kim Young Shin
In the year 2017, Korea was busy preparing for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: hosting test events, opening ticket sales for the Games, bringing the Olympic flame to Korea and launching the KTX Gyeonggang high-speed train to whisk sports-fans from the greater capital region to all the Olympic venues.
We here at Korea.net also unveiled a range of videos to promote the upcoming Olympics, such as the one that grafts winter sports onto magic tricks and the one set in the future where a cyborg talks about Korea and the PyeongChang Winter Games.
Throughout the year, Korea.net has published some 130 articles about the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in nine languages: English, German, French, Spanish, simplified Chinese, Japanese, standard Arabic, Russian and Vietnamese. Following are the top-10 most popular articles.
On July 24, 200 days ahead of the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Games, the Korean Culture and Information Service released a video to promote the PyeongChang Olympics.
Under the title “PyeongChang 2018 — A Magical Experience,” magician Yu Ho-jin demonstrated four winter sports – cross-country skiing, ski jumping, speed skating and snowboard – via a series of magic tricks and illusions.
The summary video of the series and the four separate videos promoting each sport received more than 2.5 million views after only 48 hours online.
On Nov. 14, KOCIS unveiled another video introducing Korea and the PyeongChang Winter Games to the world.
Set in 2045, the video features a short history of modern Korea, focusing on the Seoul 1988 Olympics, the 2002 FIFA Korea-Japan World Cup and the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It tells the story through the eyes of the last robot on Earth that survived a war against humans.
The robot concludes that the reason for humanity’s victory is our desire for peace. It mentions that the spirit of Korea’s recent Candlelight Movement has been passed on to the Olympic flame. The video ends with the robot waiting for everyone’s participation in the upcoming Olympics.
Titled “The Last A.I.,” it received 7,179,807 views, 6,291,280 via Facebook and 888,527 on YouTube, as of Dec. 28.
On April 6, the women’s ice hockey teams from the two Koreas competed at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, Division II, Group A, at the Gangneung Hockey Center.
The match, held on the United Nation’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, helped the two nations move forward toward peace in PyeongChang.
Among the series of articles that introduces delicacies from Gangwon-do Province, the host region of the PyeongChang Olympics, freeze-dried pollock was one the most popular.
Gangwon-do is where the most of nation’s hwangtae dried pollock is produced.
Pollock is hung and dried in wooden structures, where it goes through the process of freezing and unfreezing between day and night. This gives the fish a tender texture and makes it rich in taste.
The dried fish is the major ingredient in hwangtae haejangguk dried pollock soup (황태해장국), hwangtae gui broiled pollock (황태구이), hwangtae jjim steamed pollock (황태찜) and, of course, in the hwangtae burger. In many of those dishes, the delicious broth from the dried fish draws non-Korean tourists every day to restaurants that specialize in the dish.
KOCIS’s global contest, Talk! Talk! Korea 2017, had a new PyeongChang 2018 category this year, which drew a lot of international attention.
The three winners included Mishell Rodriguez from Guatemala who won in the PyeongChang category and received a trip to Korea and the opportunity to see the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
In October this year, Finnish author Tuomas Kyrö published a novel set in Pyeongchang, one of the host cities of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The story begins with the main character, the Grump, an 80-year-old curmudgeon created by Kyrö, as he flies to Seoul to meet his granddaughter who’s studying abroad in Korea. There, the Grump happens to take a look at the Olympic stadiums and other facilities for the upcoming Olympics. The Grump visits Seoul, Pyeongchang and Gangneung and meets Korean sport stars and gets introduced to both kimchi and soju.
Aileen Frisch, a luge athlete representing Korea in the upcoming Winter Games, sat down with Korea.net on Sept. 20 to talk about her life as a member of Team Korea. She’s a naturalized Korean citizen, originally from Germany.
After her early retirement in Germany, the country that dominates the Olympic luge tables, she was missing the sport in her life. She got an offer by Steffen Sartor, coach of the Korean national luge team, and decided to compete for Korea.
Although Korea was an unfamiliar place to Frisch, she is now very fond of her new home. She said, “If someone were to ask me to pick between the Korean luge team and the German one, I would choose Korea. That’s how great it’s been.”
The KTX Gyeonggang high-speed railway line opens and it can connect the greater Seoul area with Gangwon-do Province in under 2 hours.
The new Gyeonggang Line stops at 10 stations, including Pyeongchang and Gangneung, both host cities for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. One-way trips are available 18 times per day on weekdays and 26 times per day on weekends. The train departs Seoul Station 10 times per day and Cheongnyangni Station eight times on weekdays, and 10 times and 16 times respectively on the weekends.
The PyeongChang ICT Pavilion, located on the second floor of the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza, the venue for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, opened on Nov. 29.
It introduces five new key technologies that will be used throughout the Olympic season: fifth generation mobile networks (5G), the Internet of Things (IoT), ultra high definition broadcasts (UHD), artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).
A graphics-based news story about the secrets of the Olympic torch drew a lot of attention from Korea.net readers and social media users.
The secret to keeping the torch lit is to prepare reserves and to always have a safety lamp handy.
The lamp can burn for up to 52 hours.