Showing off IT power at PyeongChangThe PyeongChang Winter Olympics is seven months ahead, and Korea’s dream of hosting the international sporting event has come true 30 years after the Seoul Olympic Games. Pyeongchang will set many records: the most number of athletes, more than 6,500 from some 90 countries are participating, and the most number of medals will be awarded.
It will also be an event of culture, IT and peace. During the Winter Olympics from February 9 to 25 and the Paralympic Games from March 9 to 18, festivities of Korean traditional culture and Gangwon Province’s regional culture will continue in Pyeongchang and Gangneung.
Also, fifth-generation mobile communications, 5G, will be used for the first time in the world, and Korea’s leading scientific technologies such as VR, AI and robotics will be presented. Korean IT industry is preparing to showcase latest technologies to the foreign visitors. Through the Olympic period, a total of 2 million foreign tourists are expected to visit the region and experience Korea’s traditional culture and advanced IT.
Sports has the power to bring people together in many ways. During the Seoul Olympic Games, Koreans sang “Hands in Hands” and became one. For the 2002 World Cup, “Oh! Korea!” was the slogan that helped the team advance to the semifinal. Pyeongchang Winter Olympic will again unite the nation and push the country after 11 years of stagnation at per-capita national income in the $20,000 range.
The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be followed by 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. As President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach said, the Asian era is opening in sports, and Korea’s role in the Asian era is historically significant.
As we make the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics an economic success, we need to make sure a globally compatible NFC system is in use for convenient transportation, communication and payment. Related systems need to be reviewed and prepared to make the event a success.
*President of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee.