Gangwon 2024: IOC President Calls Youth Olympics ‘Great Expression of True Olympic Legacy’ as Winter Games Come to a Close

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About six months before the Summer Olympics in Paris, the IOC shifted its attention to organizing the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2024. The fourth edition of the Games garnered attention for several distinctive features. Notably, Gangwon in the Republic of Korea was selected as the host, marking the inaugural occasion of an Asian region taking on this role on the 19th of January.
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As Gangwon 2024 concluded, it served as a profound exemplification of Olympic legacy and global solidarity. In a commendation ceremony attended by IOC officials and dignitaries, including IOC President Thomas Bach, the success of the Games was attributed to the collaborative efforts of Gangwon State authorities, the Organising Committee, the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation, and dedicated volunteers.
Gangwon 2024: And that’s a wrap, a story of cherished successes and glory
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In a resounding endorsement, the IOC President hailed the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) as “a great expression of true Olympic solidarity.” The success of Gangwon 2024 echoed the achievements of PyeongChang 2018. It exemplified the seamless integration of both hard and soft Olympic legacies. Seven of the iconic venues from the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 played host to the dynamic competitions in Gangwon 2024.
They showcased state-of-the-art facilities and fostered a profound connection between current athletes and their Olympic idols. The soft legacy, emphasized by the IOC President, was deemed even more significant in the long term.
Notably, 39 international athletes participated in Gangwon 2024. They underwent training programs initiated by the PyeongChang Legacy Foundation. This symbolized a unique demonstration of Korea’s solidarity with international sports and the Olympic Movement. The global impact extended further.
Olympic Solidarity provided crucial assistance of USD 2 million to the National Olympic Committees and athletes for preparation. Meanwhile, the IOC invested USD 10 million in travel costs. Additionally, they contributed USD 25 million to the Organizing Committee’s budget. This solidified the spirit of unity within the Olympic Movement. However, it wouldn’t have been possible without the painstaking efforts of the outstanding crew.
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The Gangwon Shine crew’s vital role
The soft legacy of PyeongChang 2018 extends to Gangwon 2024, where 1,984 dedicated volunteers, many of whom were part of the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, played a pivotal role. Thomas Bach, the IOC President, said –“I can only say thank you very much to the Gangwon Shine Crew”, acknowledging their incredible commitment and infectious enthusiasm.
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Volunteers were actively engaged in various locations, including the Youth Olympic Villages. Ninety-three percent of athletes participated in interactive learning initiatives. Reflecting on this unique experience for young athletes, Bach highlighted the Youth Olympic Games as a valuable stepping stone. It enables athletes to acclimate to the Olympic atmosphere early in their careers.
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