Wednesday, September 15, 2010

IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011

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There are several sports that Korea excels at: taekwondo, archery, judo, and weight lifting to name a few. But in athletics, unfortunately, Korea has rarely won medals and accordingly, public interest, too, is rather modest.

But next year, it seems it may be quite different – for the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Championships is scheduled to be held in Daegu, Korea from August 27 to September 4. Those who run the fastest, jump the highest, leap the farthest will be all gathering together!

So the 27th of August 2011 is the day it will begin. Following the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, this time Korea will host the IAAF Championships, with some ambitious goals set for itself – ranking within top 10 in 10 categories, including marathon, race-walking, hurdles, pole vault, and javelin throws for both male and female.

Organizing Committee for the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011

The organizing committee for the Daegu Championships is working hard to make the event a success. They are repairing and upgrading the Daegu Stadium which will be the main venue for the games, and the Athletes’ Village where the athletes from all over the world will be lodging is scheduled for completion in April 2011. About half has already been completed. Also, some 6,000 supporters are being recruited, including interpreters, assistants and organizers in some 10 specific areas.

Now that slightly less than a year is left till the grand opening, the tickets are on sale both on and offline. The price of the tickets ranges from KRW 10,000 to 150,000 and the season ticket with which you can watch all of the competitions costs from KRW 200,000 to 850,000. The prices are cheaper than the ones at the Osaka Championship in 2007 or Berlin in 2009.

A Mega-Scale Sporting Event

The IAAF Daegu 2011 will be the second time the competition is held in Asia, following the one in Osaka, Japan in 2007.

It will be a mega-scale sporting event where over 6,000 foreigners from 213 countries will visit and participate in 47 different games. Apparently, it is a major opportunity to showcase various attractive aspects of Korea. Apart from the actual visitors, there will also be some 7 billion TV viewers, which will induce an impressive amount of economic value. To host this championship, Korea needs KRW 5.5 trillion’s volume of manufacture, 60 thousand employments, and is expected to generate value-added of 2.3 trillion’s worth.

Hosting a sporting event of this magnitude is certainly no easy job. It requires a lot of resources both finance, energy, time-wise, not to mention a thorough, meticulous planning. The entire world will be watching Korea. So, let’s hope and strive for a successful hosting!

Perfect Time to Visit National Parks of Korea!

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The stifling heat of the summer has somewhat simmered down and we can now feel a hint of autumn seeping through the air. If you’re planning an autumn vacation, I’d say you should definitely go for the mountains.

Around this time of a year, Korean mountains exhibit splendid foliage. National parks at such mountains as Seoraksan, Naejangsan, Songnisan and Wolchulsan will be perfect spots for enjoying wonderful Korean autumn sights. In link with this, there is a TV program that introduces beautiful mountain scenery of Korea.

Korea’s Nature as Seen by Foreigners

There are around 20 national parks in Korea, all of which boast exceptional natural beauties. 38 million people visit the parks annually, and they are home to some 60% of endangered species. So it’s hardly an overstatement to say national parks are the very core of Korea’s ecology.

In an effort to promote Korean natural sights to the world overseas, the Korea National Park Service produced a TV program that introduces Korea’s national parks in cooperation with Arirang TV, an English-language TV channel that has viewers from more than 188 countries including the US, Canada and the UK via satellite.

In the program, foreign reporters visit the parks and go on “eco-tours”, introducing the sights from the perspective of non-Koreans. For example, at Dadohaehaesang National Park, the largest national park in Korea which expands across seven coastal areas in the South and West Sea, reporters get hands-on experience on drying anchovies, or at Odaesan National Park they get to unearth potatoes.

The program is made up of 20 episodes, each of which is about 10 minutes in length. It will be aired at 7:30 pm (Korean time) every Saturday on Arirang TV.

Various Education & Entertainment Programs

We may think national parks are just nice, peaceful tourist spots with a bunch of mountains and creeks and trees and whatnot bundled up together. Well, maybe so. But recently, many educational and entertaining programs are being offered for those far too many city-bound children and life-jaded adults.

For example, at those national parks near the city such as Bukhansan National Park, they have built an “eco village” where city kids can explore nature, get an education on environment and also receive treatment for environment-related illnesses such as asthma or atopic dermatitis which as many as one quarter of children suffer.

Also, since national parks house many of endangered species, children can take actual glimpses at those precious fauna and flora that they’ve only seen on the pages of books. For example, Byeonsanbando National Park houses the very rare insect “chrysochroa fulgidissima,” or in another term, “jewel beetle.”

So, why not take your autumn vacation at one of these splendid national parks?!