Cultural and sporting events marking the one-year countdown until the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was held in Gangwon Province on Thursday.
The G-1 Festival kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Gangneung Hockey Centre at 6:30 p.m.
The festival featured a choir consisting of two-thousand-18 people as well as performances by various K-pop artists.
On top of all that, the World Singles Distances Speed Skating Championships under the International Skating Union(ISU) began its four-day competition on Thursday at the Gangneung Ice Arena.
World-class athletes, including South Korean Olympic gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa and speed skating champion Sven Kramer of the Netherlands, competed in the event.
The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be held for 17 days beginning February ninth next year across the country’s eastern Gangwon Province.
Around six-thousand-500 athletes and officials from 95 countries will participate in the quadrennial event, where 102 gold medals are up for grabs.
To successfully host the Olympics, the Gangwon Provincial government and the organizing committee for the Pyeongchang Games are gearing up preparations, including test events.
Various cultural programs are also being held in connection with the test events to attract foreign tourists.
And the facilities are near completion. The organizing committee plans to build a total of 12 venues, including seven for sports on snow and five for sports on ice.
Six of them are being newly constructed while the other six are existing facilities that will be refurbished. The venues will be fully ready by October.
Some other essential facilities will also be constructed in coming months, with the International Broadcasting Center(IBC) set to open in April and the athletes’ and media’s villages in September.