By Song Baleun and Kim Hwaya
The Dream Program, which offers training in winter sports and cultural experiences to young people worldwide, will offer more diverse content in this year’s edition.
Scheduled from Jan. 6-18 in Pyeongchang-gun County and Gangneung, both in Gangwon-do Province, the 16th annual edition of the program will be held at the county’s Alpensia Resort and Gangneung Ice Arena under the slogan “Inspiring the Next Generation!”
Hosted by the Pyeongchang 2018 Legacy Foundation and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Gangwon-do Provincial Office, the program is hosting 123 youths from 29 countries, up from 109 people and 25 countries last year.
The new event of bobsledding is among the seven sports in this year’s program. Participants can also train at their desired levels in the “experiential” and “academy” classes, as well as in the new “highest-ranking training” class.
In addition to sports training, cultural lessons are offered such as for dance used in K-pop and taekwondo.
The organizers have also expanded the criteria for selecting participants from athletes only to those aspiring to major in international sports diplomacy and anyone interested in Korean culture.
Three previous participants of the program who achieved their goals will share their experiences in this year’s event. One of them is alpine skier Elvis Opmanis from Latvia, who took part in the 2009 program and has competed in the world championships organized by FIS, the world governing body for ski events.
Park Yong-cheol, the Culture Ministry’s director-general for sports cooperation, said, “Through the Dream Program, we will spread the Olympic values of fair play and physical fitness through effort, and enhance general exchanges in culture and sports to pass on the legacy of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and keep our promise to open new horizons.”