Pocog welcomes Passion Crew

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Pocog welcomes Passion Crew


Volunteers and employees take an oath during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics volunteer kickoff ceremony at COEX Auditorium in southern Seoul on Monday. [YONHAP]

The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Pocog) held a launch event for volunteers for the upcoming games at the COEX Auditorium in southern Seoul on Monday.

About 1,000 volunteers were present at the ceremony to take an oath along with the Passion Crew leader, comedian Kim Byung-man. The PyeongChang 2018 Passion Crew is another name for the more than 87,000 people who will support the PyeongChang Olympics in various roles.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018,” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), through a video message. “Welcome to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic team. When Pyeongchang welcomes all the world, it will be your smiles and your warm welcome that people will remember forever. Thank you for your dedication and your commitment.”

The selection process for volunteers began as early as July 2016, and through the process of screening and interviews, a total of 20,840 volunteers have been selected for volunteer training. Of the 20,840 volunteers, 19,554 are Koreans and 1,220 are international volunteers from 64 countries. A total of 91,656 people from 146 countries applied to be volunteers for the PyeongChang Olympics.

“The experience you live, the friends that you make, and everything that you witness and experience will change your understanding of life forever,” said Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympics Committee (IPC), through a video message. “I know it’s a lot of work to you, volunteer. But I really learn that passion is something that has everything to do with Korea, everything to do with PyeongChang, and with you, Passion Crew.”

Passion Crew training will continue over the next few months. Volunteers for the Olympics will start to arrive on site on Jan. 1, 2018, working a maximum of 59 days. Volunteers for the Paralympics will start to arrive on Feb. 19, 2018, working a total of 31 days.

“I do not doubt the success of the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Games, thanks to the citizens of Korea and outstanding volunteers like you,” Lee Hee-beom, president of Pocog, said. “I am sure that our volunteers’ enthusiasm and dedication will illuminate Pyeongchang.”

After a celebration, Pocog unveiled the volunteers’ uniform, with red and gray chosen as the main colors. Coming up with clothing that is “highly visible amongst the crowds,” was the key factor in designing the uniform.

“Volunteers play a pivotal role in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as the first impression you have set in the minds of all Games clients, including athletes, officials, delegations and tourists, will define the overall image of the Games,” Lee said.

Red was chosen to give a festive feel and to represent one of the main colors on the national flag at the same time. Gray was chosen as it is one of the top trending colors for outdoor clothing for the 2017-18 season. The uniforms are designed by the clothing brand The North Face. Volunteers will receive eight items - a ski jacket, ski pants, jacket liner, t-shirt, beanie, backpack, ski gloves and waterproof boots.
BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]
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