Cultural festivals and events as well as winter sports competitions will delight visitors to Pyeongchang and Gangneung in Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province) during the PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013.
A variety of programs, including classical music concerts, performances, ballet, and musical galas, will be held in the two main venues during the eight-day event scheduled from January 29 to February 5.
Most of these performances and events involve audience participation. Art theaters as well as groups of artists with disabilities will stage many of the scheduled performances. Most of these events will be held at Alpensia Resort and affiliated buildings in Pyeongchang, Kwandong University, Gangneung-Wonju National University, and various stadiums in Gangneung.
YongPyong Dome in Pyeongchang. More than 3,200 people, including athletes from more than 110 countries, are expected to attend. (photo by Jeon Han).
The opening and closing ceremonies will be held on the theme of "Dream Chorus", referring to the beautiful harmony created by both the mentally disabled and people without disabilities, according to the Organizing Committee. Under the theme, events -- including performances and large-scale choirs -- are designed to cross the line between stage and audience by encouraging the participation of mentally disabled people. Such messages will be delivered through advanced media technology at the ceremonies.
Gangneung Ice Rink will host speed skating, floor hockey, and other sports (photo by Jeon Han).
On January 30, a welcoming reception and a street parade for the athletes will be held at Alpensia Resort. Later that day, famous magician Lee Eun-gyeol and prima ballerina Kim Joo-won of the Korean National Ballet will stage an interesting rendezvous of ballet and magic titled "MagicBallet" scheduled to take place at the Concert Hall of Alpensia Resort.
From January 30 to February 5, special photo exhibitions and e-sports gaming events will be held at both Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang and Kwandong University in Gangneung. The photo exhibitions will feature photos of previous Special Olympic Games and related athletes.
Film screenings will also delight movie lovers, as movies based on stories of people with mental disabilities like "Rain Man" (1988, directed by Barry Levinson) and Korean movie "Marathon" (2005, directed by Jeong Yoon-cheol) will be played at Alpensia Convention Center from January 30 to February 1.
(From the left) The creative Korean musical Spring Spring will show the unique wit of traditional Korean culture In a folk love story.//"Heart Heart Orchestra", composed of musicians with disabilities, will perform on January 31 (photos from Weekly Gonggam).
Gangneung Symphony Orchestra will present a classical music concert on January 31 at Gangneung-Wonju National University while the creative Korean musical Spring Spring will be staged at Alpensia Resort Concert Hall on the same day. This musical is based on a popular novel titled Spring Spring, (unofficial translation) by the well-known Korean writer Kim Yu-jeong (1908-1937).
On February 1, some of the major events include a concert by Heart Heart Orchestra, composed of musicians with disabilities, scheduled to take place at Alpensia Concert Hall, and a musical gala concert by Seensee Musical Company scheduled to be held at Gangneung-Wonju National University.
On February 4, a standing party titled "Olive oil and balsamic vinegar" will take place at Alpensia Music Tent. This party will feature musicians of various genres, ranging from classic, K-pop, and hip-hop to pansori (a genre of traditional Korean music where a vocalist sings and chants a story). Later that day, a dance party and fireworks will be held outside Alpensia Resort.
For more information about cultural events related to the PyeongChang Special Olympics Winter Games 2013, visit the homepage of the Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee PyeongChang 2013 (Korean, English).
Since last month, Korail has begun selling tickets for the upcoming games. People can buy tickets at major train stations and Korail travel centers. The entrance ticket costs 10,000 won per person and allows entry to all sporting events, excluding the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Special Pass for the PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013 (courtesy of the PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee 2013)
It is better to hold onto the ticket after watching the sporting event, since ticket holders can receive up to a 50-percent discount at various local festivals like Pyeongchang Trout Festival or tourism facilities like the Jeongseon Rail Bike or Yongpyong and Alpensia ski resorts. They can also visit nearby tourism attractions close to the event venues like the Ojukheon black bamboo forest. The Special Pass also offers discounts up to 30 percent for train tickets to Gangneung from all train stations nationwide.
Korail will operate a special train tourism package for the PyeongChang Special Olympics Winter Games 2013 from January 30 to February 5. For more information, visit the homepage of Korail (Korean, English).
* Cultural events to be held during the PyeongChang Special Olympics Winter Games 2013
Region Location Date Description
Pyeongchang Alpensia Resort 1/30 Welcoming reception and street parade
Alpensia Resort Concert Hall 1/30 "MagicBallet" (featuring magician Lee Eun-gyeol and ballerina Kim Joo-won)
Alpensia Resort Convention Center 1/30~2/5 Special photo exhibitions and e-sports game events
Alpensia ResortConvention Center Auditorium 1/30~ 2/1 Movie screening (featuring Marathon, Rain Man, etc.)
Alpensia Resort Concert Hall 1/31 Creative Korean musical Spring Spring
Alpensia Resort Concert Hall 2/1 Concert of Heart Heart Orchestra
Alpensia Resort Music Tent 2/4 Standing party "Olive oil and balsamic vinegar"
Gangneung Kwandong University 1/30 Indie band festival
Kwandong University Athletes' village 1/30~2/5 Special photo exhibitions and e-sports gaming events
Gangneung-Wonju National University 1/31 Classical music concert featuring Gangneung Symphony Orchestra
Gangneung-Wonju National University 2/1 Musical gala concert by Seensee Musical Company
By Yoon Sojung