For the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) to be a Peace Game, the Peace Education Festival is being held from May 27 to 31 under a joint organization by POCOG and the Gangwon Provincial Office of Education.
Under the theme “I Love Peace, I am a Peace Maker, ” the objective of the four-day event is to support and educate youth to form meaningful discussions on how to make the world a more peaceful place and understand Olympic and Paralympic values through sports.
More than 400 students and teachers from seven Asian countries - Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and the Philippines, were invited to participate in a variety of activities in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. The event kicked off with a lecture introducing the Olympic and Paralympic values and Olympic Truce. Students were then put into small groups to visit the six zones of the festival namely Sitting Volleyball Zone, Boccia Zone, Field Hockey Zone, 5-a-side Football Zone, Pipeline Teambuilding Zone, and the PyeongChang 2018 Education Zone.
In particular, at the PyeongChang 2018 Education Zone, students were able to experience different Winter Olympic and Paralympic sports such as ice hockey, wheelchair curling and ski jumping through virtual reality. Cultural activities were also a big part of the festival, where students watched a variety of performances, made Korean traditional items, and participated in language games.
Chen Silin, 14-year-old student from Changchun Foreign Language School in China, said, “Through this program, I learned that sport is not about winning, but having fun and meeting new friends. It was also great to meet students and teachers from so many different countries and meet through sport.”
Marion Christopher, a teacher at the Don Eulogio De Guzman Memorial National High School in the Philippines, said, “Didn't expect the unity the students are showing through sports I feel my students are having a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
POCOG President LEE Hee-beom said, “We hope that through the range of programs and activities at our Peace Education Festival, the students from across Asia will not only get a chance to experience winter sports ahead of PyeongChang 2018, but that they will also forge friendships through the values of sports and peace.”