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Pocog unveils medals for PyeongChang

Design inspired by hangul and flowers preparing to bloom
Sept 22,2017
이미지뷰
President of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games Lee Hee-beom, bottom left, Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-hwan, bottom third from left, and other participants pose for a picture after unveiling the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics medals at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul on Thursday. [YONHAP]
이미지뷰
From left: A close up image of the gold medal for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The side of the medal features hangul, the Korean alphabet. Images of the bronze medal, above, and the silver medal were also unveiled during a ceremony at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul on Thursday. [PYEONGCHANG ORGANIZING COMMITTEE]
The medals for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics were finally unveiled on Thursday, less than 150 days until the games begin.

The medals were announced simultaneously by the organizing committee at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul on Thursday and by President Moon Jae-in at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Wednesday, local time.

“[The] medals are the symbol of the Olympics that is remembered by history,” said Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (Pocog). “We only have 141 days to go [as of Thursday] until the opening day and we have worked hard to make the first Winter Games in Korea a grand success.”

“The Olympics have essentially started with the unveiling of the medals and now we ask the public and the world to give its full attention to PyeongChang,” the Pocog president added.

The medals are designed by local designer Lee Suk-woo, who explained at the unveiling ceremony that he got his inspiration from hangul, the Korean alphabet.

“Hangul is one of the most scientific languages in the world and the very seed of our culture,” explained Lee Suk-woo. “We wanted to illustrate the perseverance and perspiration of the Olympic athletes that grow the seeds of their dreams.”

The edges of the medals are inscribed with “2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics” in hangul. The lines on the surface of the medal are connected to the letters on the edge, and represent the stems of a plant that needs continuous care in order for flowers to bloom. This refers to the time and the effort that athletes will spend earning the medals, according to the designer.

“The two-dimensional consonants have been turned into three-dimensional figures and cut into cylindrical forms to complete the design that shows the sporting disciplines,” explained a statement from Pocog. “The front of the medal bears dynamic diagonal lines symbolizing both the history of the Olympics and the determination of the participants. The back of the medal features the sports discipline and events alongside the Games’ emblem.”

While Pocog revealed the medals in front of the local and international media in the heart of Seoul, Moon unveiled the medals to a global audience halfway around the world in New York at an evening event titled “PyeongChang 2018 at the Met: Celebrating the Olympic Winter Games for Peace.”

During the event, Moon presented a medal to Kim Gwi-jin, a former national speed skater that took part in the 1964 and 1968 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria and Grenoble, France.

“The coming Winter Olympics is a meaningful event that takes place in Korea 30 years after the 1988 Seoul Olympics,” said Moon at the event. “Come to PyeongChang, where you will be able to experience advanced information and communication technologies absorbed into the Olympics.”

The medals for the Paralympics, which are reportedly still in the final design stages, will have horizontal lines unlike the medals for the Olympics with diagonal lines, the lead designer explained.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]