While YongPyong International Ski Festival has been serving as a mecca for foreign Ambassadors, diplomats and foreigners living in Korea as well as travelling to Korea during winter seasons to enjoy Ski as one of representative winter sports last 37 years since 1983, without exception this year as well a total of 11 envoys from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. and a total of 280 participants enjoyed the 37th YongPyong International Ski Festival to the fullest during last 3 days from Feb. 8th through Feb. 11th.
A total of 11 envoys from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. who joined the 37th YongPyong International Ski Festival, were Denmark Amb. Thomas Lehmann & his Madame as Chairman of Committee, Germany Amb. Stephan AUER & his Madame, Finland Amb. Eero Suominen & his Madame, Norway Amb. Frode Selverg & his Madame, Sweden Amb. Jakob Hallgren, Georgia Amb. Otar Berdzenishi & his Madame, Romania Amb. Mihai Ciompec & his Madame, France Amb. Fabien Penone & his Madame, EU Amb. Michael Reiterer & his Madame, New Zealand Amb. Philip Turner, and last but not least Japan Amb. Yasumasa Nagamine & his Madame. Other senior diplomats from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. & foreign businessmen in Korea included deputy Mr. Ardi Barnard from the New Zealand Embassy, 1st secretary Mr. Markus Hatzelmann from the Germany Embassy, General Manager Mr. Bernhard Brender from the Grand Hilton Seoul and more.
As Chariman of Committee, Denmark Amb. Thomas Lehmann said: “Our slogan ‘Endless Friendship’ is based upon our 36 year history, prompting greater fellowship by bringing families of all nationalities together to enjoy a weekend of festivities”. “YongPyong Ski Resort will continue to be a place where children and adults of every ethnicity can come together and build everlasting friendships”, Lehmann said, adding through the 2018 PyongChang Olympic Winter Games last year, the winter sports has become more popular in Korea.
Even though the ski competitions included alpine skiing and snowboarding by children, juniors, seniors and adults in addition to curling tournament in Gangreung City, the highlight of the festival was by far its Award Ceremony & Banquet at BlissHill Stay’s Wellness Hall where the official reception of the 2018 PyongChang Winter Olympic Games was held including many Presidents from around the world & VIPs. Finland Amb. Eero Suominen who responded to an on-the-spot interview with the NDNnews(www.ndnnews.co.kr), replied that he is very satisfied with YongPyong Resort’s facility level & high service quality which are in no way inferior to Europe’s resorts, referring to a near distance from Seoul as well.
On next day as well separately from the YongPyong Ski Festival, Sweden Amb. Jakob Hallgren played a very excellent moderator role in the Peace Regime session in Northeast Asia held as part of the 2019 PyongChang Peace Forum in Alpensia Convention Center. On the other hand, EU Amb. Michael Reiterer twitted in his EU Embassy facebook: "Last weekend marked #one year anniversary of the historic #PyeongChang Olympics. ⛷A year ago, our EU Delegation supported and stood with the #Paralympics which reflected the core values the EU stands for, such as #inclusiveness, #solidarity and #non-discrimination.
Last month in the interview, The EU Ambassador #Michael Reiterer spoke of the resemblance between #Innsbruck and PyeongChang in that they brought two divided countries together to form a united team. He emphasised th...e importance of #Sports diplomacy⚽⛷ and #people to people contacts in times of crisis and tension, which made the PyeongChang Olympics a turning point leading to an unprecedented #summit. The EU would wholeheartedly support positive developments and peace-building on the #Koreanpeninsula., said Reiterer.
The fact that YongPyong Ski Festival has been a mecca for foreign Missions & foreigners to enjoy winter sports, is confirmed once more from the standpoint as well that former Committee Chairmans were mostly previous Ambassadors served in Korea during their tenure including former Norway Amb. Torolf Raa(2000-2001), former Switzerland Amb. Christian Muhlethaler (2002-2004), former Sweden Amb. Harald Sandberg (2005), former Swizterland Amb. Christian Hauswirt (2006-2007), former Norway Amb. Didrik Tonseth (2008-2011), former Ireland Amb. Eamonn Mckee ((2012-2013), and last but not least former Belgium Amb. Francois Bontemps (2014-2016).
This event was first held in 1983 for the development of the domestic ski culture as well as prompting good fellowship amongst foreign residents stationed in Korea. The festival takes pride in being the nation’s only international ski festival, with approximately 300 participants from 25 different countries taking part each year, said YongPyong Resort.
Staff reporter Shin Whan-chul