Official emblem of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games
By Jung Min-ho
Jacques Rogge IOC President
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has praised the emblem of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics for its expression of Korean cultural and Asian heritage.
"I would like to congratulate the PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee on the launch of its innovative new emblem," Rogge said in a statement, following the unveiling of the emblem in Seoul and PyeongChang Friday.
"As an athlete, part of the excitement of participating in the Games is discovering the culture and traditions of the host country and this will be the case for PyeongChang."
Rogge said combining elements of the Korean alphabet and Asian philosophy will allow people to immediately connect the country with the 2018 Games vision of New Horizons.
The emblem is designed using the Korean alphabet. The two shapes stem from the first consonants of each syllable of the word "PyeongChang." The first "represents an open square where the events will take place, while the other embodies snow, ice and the athletes' stellar performance," PyeongChang organizers said.
"In just under five years' time, PyeongChang 2018 will welcome athletes and spectators from around the world to celebrate in harmony at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games," said IOC Executive Board Member Gunilla Lindberg, who is overseeing the preparations for the Olympics.
"Our preparations will gain further momentum after today's emblem launch. I would like to encourage all the staff and residents of Gangwon Province to try hard to deliver the most successful Games, with the same passion and spirit that we showed during the bidding process," Organizing Committee President Kim Jin-sun said.
The organizers said they suggested plans for the emblem design in May last year and recruited professional designers. Industry experts and scholars reviewed the 10 candidates before appointing Ha Jong-joo, who is known for his branding expertise.
President Park Geun-hye said PyeongChang took an important step forward with unveiling the emblem.
"We now stand on the road to a successful Olympic Games in PyeongChang," Park said in a message. "We must exert our utmost efforts to present to the world in five years' time the vitality of Korea and the beauty of Gangwon Province."