The 100th National Sports Festival and 39th National Para Games will be a 12-day race, beginning with the opening ceremony that will take place at the Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on October 4, 2019. The theme of the opening ceremony will be “The Myth of Body, the Birth of a Century.”
The main performance will be a splendid performance harmoniously carried out by 2,229 people, including artists, regular citizens, people with developmental disabilities, and volunteers. For the performance, a variety of imaging techniques will be mobilized using the top of the stadium, the entrance of the auditorium, the banisters, and the ground. The message the performance will deliver is that a future full of the light of hope will be built by the star athletes who have created the 100 years of history of the National Sports Festival together with the nameless stars who have led the history of the Republic of Korea.
The highlight of the opening ceremony will be the torch lighting ceremony of the National Sports Festival that will take place in Seoul for the first time in 33 years since the festival of 1986. The torch that will have traveled via the greatest number of torchbearers (1,100 individuals) running the greatest distance (2,019 km) for the longest period of time (13 days) in the history of the festival will enter Jamsil Stadium, its final destination.
On the other hand, the four main areas of focus in which Seoul is investing are ① the “100th festival” connecting the history with the future, ② a “cultural festival” gathering the cultural and artistic assets of Seoul, ③ a “participatory festival” with the participation of citizens, and ④ an “inspiring festival” of hospitality for the happiness of all citizens.
First, in order to turn the national festival that was launched 100 years ago into a “festival of the Republic of Korea” that begins a new century, the festival has been prepared to become a venue of unification where all people participate in every event, from the torch relay and opening/closing ceremonies to making commemorative coins and exhibitions.
Secondly, the Seoul Culture Festival will be held, where 25 events encompassing a variety of festivals, performances, and cultural resources of the city will be gathered for a month. The cultural festival will draw participation from areas all over the nation, beyond the city of Seoul. It will take place throughout downtown Seoul, including Jamsil Stadium, Seoul Plaza, and Gwanghwamun Square.
Thirdly, a total of 7,777 volunteers, the largest number since the beginning of the festival, and 10,000 citizens supporters are the unsung heroes of the participatory festival, the National Sports Festival. In order to make the festival become friendly for the disabled, the live commentary service for the visually disabled will be introduced for the first time in the festival, as well as medical support for the prevention of pain of disabled athletes in consideration of their physical characteristics. During the National Sports Festival, a Seoul Global Sports Festival will be held as an extra event in which foreigners living in Korea and multicultural families can participate.
Fourthly, Seoul will make the National Sports Festival an opportunity to promote the city, kindly welcoming guests and advertising the attractions that the city has to offer. For the swift transportation of over 39,000 players, a total of 3,714 vehicles, including buses, rental cars, and taxis will be provided.