The 100th National Sports Festival and 39th National Para Games (hereinafter ‘National Sports Festival’) will be held in October 2019 in Seoul, with 100 days to left until the D-Day. Seoul City plans to make the National Sports Festival as a venue where the entire country will be brought together by pursuing an Olympic-scale torch relay, spanning 17 municipalities and provinces, for the first time since the beginning of the festival. 1,100 people from all parts of society will participate as torchbearers, running a total of 2,019km.
On September 22, 2019, torches will be lit at diverse symbolic places throughout Korea: Dokdo (6 a.m.), the place of the earliest sunrise in the nation, Manisan Mountain (10 a.m.), the official place to light a torch designated by Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Panmunjeom (2 p.m.), which sends out the message of peace and unification, and Marado Island (6 p.m.), the place of the latest sunset in the country. Starting on the same day, the torches will be traveling 25 autonomous districts of Seoul, along with the torch of the National Para Games lit at the World Peace Gate of Olympic Park.
Seoul City has announced the In-depth Planning Status of the National Sports Festival where the details above are included. Seoul is in the process of systematically preparing to make the event a source of joy for the general public and a chance to connect the history with the future, aiming towards creating a “Peaceful, Collaborative, Inspiring Festival.”
The five main areas of focus that Seoul is investing in are: ① The 100th anniversary that connects the history with the future, ② participatory festival with the participation of citizens, ③ an inspiring festival of hospitality for the happiness of all citizens, ④ Inducing the participation and empathy of the general public with intense online and offline promotion, and ⑤ Securing and remodeling stadiums with the goal of an economic festival.
First, in order to make the National Sports Festival an event to unify the nation while connecting 100 years of the past to the future, the torch relay will be held throughout 17 municipalities and provinces and 25 autonomous districts of Seoul, spanning 2,019 km, for the first time since its beginning. A total of 1,100 people from all parts of society, including Seoul residents, sports stars, descendants of Korean independence fighters and more will participate.
Second, the National Sports Festival will be hosted with the participation of regular citizens. A total of 7,777 volunteers, the largest in scale since the beginning of the festival, will work for the festival and the recruitment of 10,000 citizen supporters, who will be responsible for watching and cheering for matches, promoting the event and holding the guest-welcoming campaign, is currently being held. During the National Sports Festival, a Foreign Residents’ Sports Festival will be held as an extra event where foreigners living in Korea and multicultural families will participate.
Third, the National Sports Festival will be inspiring for the whole country as it will welcome guests with an open heart. For swift transportation of over 39,000 players, a total of 3,714 vehicles, including buses, rental cars, and automobiles will be provided and reservations for 510 rooms in 15 hotels located in Jung-gu were made for 1,111 overseas Korean players from 15 countries.
Fourth, Seoul City will take out fierce online and offline advertisement for the festival as well. The ICT Experience Center of the National Sports Festival, where visitors can experience the sports events of the National Sports Festival thanks to the ICT technologies, such as VR and AI, will be in operation at Jamsil Sports Complex in October.
Fifth, the National Sports Festival will take place at 84 existing stadiums in Seoul and other cities and provinces, including Jangchung Arena, Jamsil Students’ Gymnasium, and Olympic Gymnastics Arena, instead of building new stadiums, aiming to hold an economic festival. Safety inspection of facilities will be conducted twice between June and August by external specialists and related institutions in order to offer an environment where visitors can relax and enjoy their visit.