VR festival previews PyeongChang Winter Games

Visitors to the themed zone ’88 Olympic Bridge’ at the Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul pose for a picture with the Olympic torch and the two mascots of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Soohorang and Bandabi, on Sept. 23.

By Kim Eun-young and Kim Young Shin 
Photos = Seoul Metropolitan Government
Seoul l Sept. 23, 2017

The “88 Olympic Bridge” promotional booth, where visitors can take a look at next year’s PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, opened in Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul on Sept. 23. Visitors are able to enjoy some VR ski jumping, ice hockey, biathlon and wheelchair curling.

The promotional booth is one of the special themed zones at six Hangang River bridges: the Olympic-daegyo, Gwangjin-gyo, Banpo-daegyo, Hangang-daegyo, Mapo-daegyo and Yanghwa-daegyo bridge. They are all part of the 2017 Hangang Run, an event to introduce 26 different bridges over the Hangang River.

The “88 Olympic Bridge” promotional booth, set up in a multiuse plaza at Yeouido Hangang Park near the Mapo-daegyo Bridge, was made to commemorate the Seoul 1988 Olympics and to wish for success for next year’s Winter Olympics to be held in Gangwon-do Province.

Participants stood in line at the VR ski jumping booth to try the game with some of the newest VR headsets. The photo booth, where visitors can take photos with the official mascots of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Soohorang the white tiger and Bandabi the Asiatic bear, was also popular.

“I felt like an actual athlete when I stood up at the top of the ski jump while wearing the VR goggles,” said Hyung Jun Young, a participant who came with his kid. “I could get a beautiful panoramic view from up above the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center and it really made me want to visit there this winter.”

“I learned terms such as ‘hockey stick’ and ‘puck’ for the first time,” said Son Seung-ha, who tried playing ice hockey for the first time. “It wasn’t as difficult as it looks.”

“I hope that the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games go well and that the good vibe continues to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics,” said Xu Chao, a student studying in Korea who visited the VR booth because he was interested in the biathlon and in the ski jump. “I hope that Korea and China support each other for successful Winter Olympics in both countries.”

A visitor tries VR ski jumping at the '88 Olympic Bridge' promotional booth at the Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul on Sept. 23.

A visitor tries VR ski jumping at the ’88 Olympic Bridge’ promotional booth at the Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul on Sept. 23.

 

A hands-on activity booth lets people try wheelchair curling, one of the sports at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, at the '88 Olympic Bridge' promotional booth at Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul on Sept. 23.

A hands-on activity booth lets people try wheelchair curling, one of the sports at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, at the ’88 Olympic Bridge’ promotional booth at Yeouido Hangang Park in Seoul on Sept. 23.

eykim86@korea.kr

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