Korean Paralympians get set for gold

Photo: President Moon Jae-in, first lady Kim Jung-sook and other dignitaries attend a send-off ceremony for the national team to the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. They shout, ’Go, Pyeongchang!’ as they pose for a commemorative photo in the Sejong Hall at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on March 2.(Korea.net)

A send-off ceremony for the Korean Paralympic team was held in the Sejong Hall at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on March 2, one week before the opening of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

President Moon Jae-in praised the 36 national athletes who will be competing in six sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, cross-country skiing, wheelchair curling and para ice hockey. President Moon said that each of their faces were glowing with confidence, and he expressed his gratitude for their years of sweat and tears in preparing for the Games.

The president referred to the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games as being a success for having received worldwide acclaim, and said that, “That success will shine even more when the Paralympic Winter Games become a joyous festival that completes this true sport festival." He emphasized that, “Our national athletes, who have repeatedly fallen and gotten up again to prepare for today, will be our heroes at any moment."

"I will never miss the most beautifully shining moments of humanity. The citizens of Korea are passionately cheering for your dreams and your courage," he added.

Bae Dong-hyun, chef de mission for the Korean Paralympic delegation and who will lead the Olympic torch relay over the next 10 days, said that, "All the 36 athletes were united as one to prepare for the Games, and now their preparations are finished." He declared that, "We'll show how wonderful the Paralympic Games truly are."

Han Minsu, the captain of the para ice hockey team, smiles as he shows his determination for the upcoming Paralympic Games, at a send-off ceremony for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in the Sejong Hall at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on March 2.

 

Han Minsu, the captain of the para ice hockey team, said, "President Moon and first lady Kim Jung-sook are attending this send-off ceremony, and many people have also shown their interests, so I feel overwhelmed and I have a feeling of great warmth in my heart. I look back at all the times we spent together, and now I’m even more confident. I will remember the interest and support that the people have shown us, and I will reward them by achieving our goals with great scores."

The PyeongChang Paralympics, which start with the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Plaza at 8 p.m. on March 9, are expected to produce touching stories that convey the true meaning of sports, as 570 athletes from 49 countries overcome the limits of the human body.

National athletes for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games head to the Jincheon National Training Center after a send-off ceremony in the Sejong Hall at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on March 2. They will move to the PyeongChang Training Center and have a formal entrance ceremony at the Games on March 6.

National athletes for the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games smile as they chit chat with President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook before taking a commemorative photo at a send-off ceremony in the Sejong Hall at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on March 2.

Bae Dong-hyun (right), chef de mission for the Korean Paralympic delegation, says, ‘All preparations are finished,’ and expresses his determination to do well at the upcoming Games, in Seoul on March 2.