Thursday, June 24, 2010

IAGOC Chief outlines 2014 Asian Games vision

The 2014 Asian Games in the Republic of Korea's port city of Incheon will be a festival of not only sports but also of culture, art and academic events, aiming to be the best Asian Games ever held, the Head of the organising committee said in an interview with the Korea Herald.
An artist's impression of the Incheon canal, which will be created to protect against flooding.
"We hope the competition will serve as a means to change the perception people all over the world have towards history and sports," said Lee Yun-taek, President of the Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee.
"The 2014 Incheon Asian Games must be seen as more than taking on the role of enhancing a nation's prestige, such as how the Olympics and previous Asian Games have played, and so we seek to create a mature event that contributes to creating an Asian culture."
Part of this "maturity" includes IAGOC's preparation of its Vision 2014 programme that calls for actively supporting countries with a low track record of winning medals to help realise their dream of clinching a medal. Some of the efforts include providing training grounds and know-how to raise the chances of these counties taking a medal home.
Among the 45 member countries and regions of the Olympic Council of Asia, 12 have yet to win a gold medal, while three countries have not yet garnered one single medal.
Vision 2014, a seven-year agenda, features a US$20 million budget that has been put into use since 2008. Incheon has invited rising stars of the selected countries, sent top-notch coaches and built sport facilities and equipment.
As the 21st century sees the Asian region taking on a greater role in the global economy, IAGOC wants to exert its utmost efforts to make the Games a success in promoting a truly balanced development of the sports sector for Asians, who account for about four billion, or two-thirds of the world's total population.
"We are eyeing small countries so they can win at least one medal," Lee added. "When Korea won its first Olympic medal it was published in textbooks. If a country we helped wins a medal its people will always remember Incheon and Korea as a friendly nation and comrade."
The 17th Asian Games will be held from September 19 to October 4 in Incheon, 37 kilometres west of Seoul.

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