PyeongChang 2018 House is a massive hit at Rio Games

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PyeongChang 2018 House is a massive hit at Rio Games

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Left, locals and tourists in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, take pictures with Soohorang and Bandabi, mascots for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, near the PyeongChang 2018 House in Rio set up at Copacabana Beach to promote the Winter Olympics. Right, visitors watch a performance hosted by the PyeongChang Organizing Committee near the venue. The Organizing Committee offers various performances such as K-pop concerts and taekwondo demonstrations at the House. [PYEONGCHANG ORGANIZING COMMITTEE]

The PyeongChang 2018 House in Rio, a venue set up at Copacabana Beach to promote the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, is garnering attention from locals as well as tourists in Rio de Janeiro during this year’s Olympics.

“As many as 84,000 tourists have visited the PyeongChang 2018 House to experience various attractions it offers since it opened on August 6,” said Lee Hee-beom, the president and CEO of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Pocog).

Since the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pocog has worked to promote the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea, slated for February 2018. The organizing committee has been trying to stimulate public interest in the Winter Olympics by providing various services using cutting edge technology, including offering winter sporting experience via information and communications technologies (ICT) and Four Dimensional Virtual Reality (4DVR).

“One can become a ski jumping athlete through 4DVR,” according to a Pocog representative, “meaning every sense of one’s body, except smell, will be stimulated.”

“With the help of cutting-edge technology, visitors to the PyeongChang House can experience and learn about snow and ice sports just steps away from the warm sand of Copacabana Beach,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg, who visited the venue on August 9.

A member of the LA24 Exploratory Committee, which is bidding to bring the 2024 Summer Games to Los Angeles, also recently visited the PyeongChang 2018 House in Rio and said, “We have been going around trying to benchmark promotional houses of different countries and what is intriguing about the PyeongChang 2018 House in Rio is that it offers many stimulating experiences to the visitors.”

In addition to areas where visitors can enjoy cutting-edge technology, the House also offers visitors a sneak peak at the culture of Korea. The venue hosts various cultural performances near the beach once or twice a day. These include fusion Korean music shows, B-boy dancing performances and taekwondo demonstrations. Guests can also taste various Korean delicacies such as kimchi and try on hanbok, Korean traditional clothing.

After the Rio Olympics, Pocog will travel around different places in South America such as Argentina and Chile to continue their promotional effort.

“Guests and locals ask us about Korea and Pyeongchang,” said a staff from the organizing committee. “We have dozens of local people inquiring about volunteer opportunities, as well. On average, about 8,000 visitors stop by every day. By the end, we expect as many as 200,000 people will visit the House.”

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

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