2010년 11월 25일 목요일

Interview with the Director of the Competition Bureau for the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 – Mr. Jun Kim

Hey everyone it’s me, Sarbi! This week I had the pleasure to interview the Daegu LOC’s Competition Director, Mr. Jun KIM. I had so many questions to ask him about his role in the organization of the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011.

Q. Ordinary citizens are often unsure about the Organizing Committee’s work. So, we’d like to get rid of the curiosity through this interview. Tell us about the specific mission of Competition Bureau in Organizing Committee.

A. Our main focus is on the actual competition. It has taken around two years to arrange the nine day event schedule. You may think that that is a long time, but you also have to remember that there are a lot of things that need to be considered. We need to simultaneously adjust to the constantly changing situations from the  IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), the Host Broadcaster (KBS), and broadcasting time slot in the largest athletics markets (Europe and the United States). It took me almost 2 years to receive final approval on our timetable from the IAAF Council Members and other relevant organizations. We were able to reach our finalized timetable with the help and consultation from the Daegu 2011 Technical Delegates.

Q. I’m curious about your personal history. I have heard that you are not a Daegu City Official or resident. How did you become involved with the Organizing Committee?

A. I began my career in sports management in the spring of 1982, when I was an assistant in my graduate school, Dongguk University, while working I received an official recruitment letter from 1988 Seoul Olympic Games Organizing Committee. I was requested to assist with the organization of the event. I was very excited, as this was my first encounter with sports administration.

Not long after joining the Seoul Olympic Games Organizing Committee (SOGOC), I remember that a man wearing thick glasses and trench-coat had joined the Committee. He was fluent in English and capable of successfully negotiating issues with the International Olympic Committee. This man is the Daegu 2011 LOC’s current Vice President and Secretary General, Mr. Dong-Hoo Moon.

After working with him, many of the young committee members, including myself had dubbed him our “lifesaver.” During my seven year stay in the competition bureau of the SOGOC) he had been a great influence on me and much of the other staff.

After the Olympics Games I began my new job working with the Korea Sports Promotion Organization (KSPO). This organization was established to utilizing the various sports facilities such as the pool, gymnasium and velodrome in the Seoul Olympic Park as profit legacy from the Olympic Games. I was responsible for marketing in this organization.

After working there for some time, I then felt that something was lacking, and I decided to head to the United States to study. This was a surprise to many because I was already over the age of 30. I believe that this drive was sparked during my time with the SOGOC, where I had met a lot of friends from many different backgrounds who instilled upon me the “Need to learn more.” I took their advice and I pursued a degree in Michigan.

After finishing my degree I can back to Korea, and I worked for the SBS Professional Basketball Team (Now Anyang KT&G) in 1997, where I happily worked for until just three years ago.

Q. Many people don’t realize the importance and magnitude of this event, what can you say about next year’s Championships?

A. This event will launch Daegu into the international spotlight, it is important that Daegu and Korea come together to make this a successful event. As this is the thirds largest athletics event in the world, we want to ensure that we have created the best possible arena for athletes of all backgrounds to compete and earn their best results for next year’s Championships.

Q. Is athlete invitation and scouting is the one of Competition Bureau’s main jobs?

A. Yes, that is one of our primary focuses. In selecting athletes to compete we are required to analyze the data and records of all athletes from Entry Standards provided by IAAF. After we have finished our analysis, we then forward our results to the relevant divisions within the LOC in order to arrange smooth entry procedures, hospitality, accommodation, and meals.

After all of this has been verified we then are required to manage each of the teams’ schedules; this will be assisted by our Team Attachés Volunteers who will accompany athletics teams to and from the Athletes’ Village to the Daegu Stadium and even the training areas.

With regard to event progression, our bureau also is responsible for Event Presentation Management (EPM). This is how we are able to control all elements of Event, including competition operation, movement, all broadcasting (including script of announcer and sound effects).

Q. In reviewing past editions of the Championships, athletes suffered from a control condition, due to the event start time being 8 am in Athens 1997. How will the next Championships be?

A. As I said earlier, it two years of consultation. In case of Athens, that’s the matter of host city’s power. But we believe that there were lots of reasons to set a start time at 8 am, but it’s mainly due to overseas TV coverage time. We decided to break from tradition, so we held out and said we wouldn’t do it. This led to us having a start time for 10am for most of the events.

Additionally, there is a Test Event, which will simulate the procedures for the World Championships. Our test events will occur on 10 April 2011, during the Daegu International Marathon and on 12 May 2011 during the Colorful Daegu Pre-Championship Meeting (IAAF World Challenge). This will provide the LOC with an invaluable opportunity to test our current preparations. We are planning to have Dress Rehearsal on 24 and 25 Aug, just before the event for a final check of our preparations.

Q. Wow, that can’t be an easy job, can it?

A. It is difficult but it becomes manageable with the support of all of the people involved the pre preparation. As of now the IAAF has nominated Technical Delegates for our Championships, they include Mr. Cesar Moreno Bravo (MEX), Mr. Bill Bailey (AUS), and Mr. Shen Chunde (CHN) who is the former 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Competition Director.

It is because of these individuals that our event preparations are going so well. I am especially thankful to Cesar Moreno Bravo, is like my tutor. In 1968 he was one of the top officials for the Mexico City Olympic Games. He also has been an IAAF Council Member for over 40 years, with an expertise in event management, regulations, and operation.

When I first joined the Organizing Committee, there were no Korean International Technical Officials (ITO) nor were there any National Technical Officials (NTO). This was disturbing as in Osaka, Japan there were approximately 200. In order to be qualified as an ITO, applicants must pass the test in English.

Thanks to Cesar Moreno’s help, we managed to produce 100 NTOs by hosting the test in Korean. During the testing and training the NTOs were taught all of the competition rules, regulations, and procedures. My tutor, Cesar, gave me very important advice to ensure that there are female referees in Korea. So this year in December we will welcome 20 new female NTOs.

Q. Final question. You’ve been doing well till now. Is there anything you are worried about or is there anything that will determine the success of the event?

A. There are only three words that need to leave my lips “Education, Education and Education.” This is the key to success. Our staff is always studying and learning and that will ensure our success. Additionally I believe that the event can only be successful if the citizens and volunteers from Daegu give their full support. Currently most of them lack knowledge about our event and athletics as a whole. Therefore intensive training is required for our volunteers, and our staff is ensuring their expertise.


During my interview with Mr. Kim, I found him to be a very passionate person. This interview might be an inspiration to not only to the staff and citizens but also to young athletes. He emphasized that this event is not only limited to the Daegu area but it is a world-wide festival being hosted by Korea. He hopes and believes that Daegu will become a well known international city through this event just like Seoul did after 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

Dongseongno a street of history, a street of youth

A trip down Daegu’s most popular street.

One of the most popular streets in Daegu is Dongseongno Street. Situated in downtown Daegu, this street is where the youth of the city spends most of their time outside of school and work. In this area, between Lotte Young Plaza and Dong-A Department Store, rests many clothing shops.

Dongsung-ro, or East Castle Road as we learned in the previous blogs, is the title of the long street beginning at Daegu Station and continuing through downtown Daegu. You will find many department stores, clothing shops, jewelry stores, restaurants of all varieties, clubs, pubs, and movie theatres.

<1> Daegu Station - Novotel Daegu City Centre Sector

Daegu Station

Daegu Station a long time ago
 Dongseongno became one of the most popular streets of Daegu after the construction of Daegu Station in 1905. During the Korean War this section of the city met many soldier and refugees during the Korean War (1950 to 1953).

Dongseongno’s North Entrance
Here is the northern entrance of Dongseongno, opposite of Daegu station.

Fashion and Jewelry Street
Welcome to a very unique section of Deongseongno, this is the “Gyodong Jewelry Street.” Along this 200m stretch of road you will find many jewelry and accessory shops lined side by side, this is because in the 1970s, this area had developed into a jewelry manufacturing, processing and distribution centre for the city. Even now you can find many affordable, yet beautiful pieces of gold and silver jewelry.

Gyodong Market
After passing through the jewelry shops, you will find the entrance to the Gyodong Market. This market is different, as it does not cell produce like other traditional markets. The Gyodong Market is known for selling tools, hardware, electronics, and imported goods; in addition to these items the market became popular for selling military boots and uniforms after Korean War.

Dong-A Department Store
After the addition of Dong-A Department Store in the early 1970s, Dongseongno Street quickly became more developed. This store was closed for a few months after it was first constructed due to a large fire damaging much of the interior, but it was quickly reopened and helped to further develop downtown Daegu as the city’s first department store.

Novotel Daegu City Centre
Traveling south, from Dong-A Department Store you will meet the newest addition to Downtown Daegu, the Novotel Daegu City Centre. This building not only hosts the 5 star Novotel Hotel, but is also home to a wedding hall, shopping mall, restaurants, and even a night club.

<2>Hanil Theater-Jungang police station sector

Jungang Underground Shopping Mall

When walking around downtown Daegu you will find most of your shopping needs met, if not head underground to the Jungang Underground Shopping Mall. Located directly underneath Jungangno Street, this mall was created 1976 to help smooth traffic flow in to make smooth traffic flow allowing for easy shopping and multiple entrances allowing for people to safely cross the street underground.

Hanil Theater
Here is Hanil Theatre, the city’s oldest theatre.

Old picture of Hanil Theatre

In 1938 Daegu saw the opening of the Kinema Club, now known as Hanil Theatre. This theatre was well known throughout the country until the late 80s as Daegu’s representative movie theater. To keep up with the times the theatre has adapted and has turned into a quality multiplex cinema.

Street view from Hanil Theatre to Debec Department Store
As one of the representative areas of Dongseongno, the area from Hanil Theatre to Jungang police station was less developed than north area before the 90s. This all changed when the city took great measures to revamp the downtown area.

Debec Department Store
Daegu welcomed its first department store in the centre of Donseongno in 1969. This 11 story department store is one of the most popular hangouts for the younger generation.

The Renovated Donseongno
The recently renovated Dongseongno Street has many different themes, some sections include very nice benches with new trees, others have received sculptures from various local artists, and one very unique section has been styled after a running track. Additionally, in order to help visitors the city has included touch screen kiosks which provides you with local weather and attractions.

Debec Department Store-Jungang Police Station Area
The street from Debec Dept Store to Jungang police station is divided into two routes, both of which are styled after a race track. Along these streets you will find various clothing, shoe, and cosmetic shops.

North street of Debec Department Store
Downtown is not only known for its shopping, you will find many nice restaurants and cafes nestled in-between the ships. If you visit this area during the evening or weekend you will find many of Daegu’s youth.

Yasi Alley
Walking to east bound from Debec Department Store, you will come across the Yasi Alley. Here you will be able to find the latest fashions and many cafes. It is a perfect destination for the shop-a-holic.


Interesting Athletics Stories- 1. Why do athletes run around the track counter-clockwise?

Why do athletes run around the track counter-clockwise? 

There are lots of theories thrown around to define the reason why athletes always run around the track counter clockwise. Some say that it is related to the heart’s position. But it has been found that the closest explanation for this question is that the direction has been determined to better facilitate a right-handed runner.

In 1896, the First Modern Olympic Games was held in Athens, Greece. During this event the athletes were required to run clockwise during the track events. This was met with much complaint from the athletes. It was because of these complaints that the IOC then gathered in 1913 and set the current anti-clockwise rule.

Through various studies, physiologists have found that right-handed people tend to have more highly developed hand and leg muscles on their right hand side than the left. This gives them an advantage when running around a track counter-clockwise, because it allows for their more powerful leg to remain on the outside, helping with the turns.

Fun Fact: It has been found that if a person is blindfolded and told to walk forward a right-handed person will begin to lean towards the left and the left handed person towards the right.

2010년 11월 22일 월요일

The Introduction of IAAF: Part 2

The Growth and Expansion of the IAAF

The rapid growth of the IAAF is largely due to the increase in television broadcasting. The IAAF World Championships, like all major international athletic events, was very popular before TV broadcasting was perfected. The problem was that interest was limited only to countries such Europe and North America, where the populations were raised with the sports.

It was the mid-1980s when the television coverage of athletics events began to take flight. As the broadcasting range grew the IAAF experienced unexpected growth and support from the African and Asian countries.

In terms of viewership the number of TV viewers had increased from just 1.4 billion during the 1st IAAF World Championships to just over 3 billion viewers during the Championships held in the 90s. The IAAF felt good about these numbers, but then the 21st century came, viewership for the IAAF World Championships nearly doubled from the 1990s 3 billion to 5.5-6 billion viewers. In other words, almost everyone on Earth was watching the event through the relayed broadcast.

The Organization of the IAAF

In 1912 the IAAF was created with the support of 17 of Europe’s member federations. In just under a century this number has increased to 213 Member Federations, each of which belonging to one of six Area Associations corresponding to their continent (excluding Antarctica).

Over the years, the IAAF Headquarters had been located in Sweden (1912~1946) and England (1946~1993). The IAAF then announced its location during the 39th IAAF Congress in Stuttgart, Germany. The IAAF officially moved into its final and permanent location in Monaco on 10 June 1994.

Currently over 70 full-time professional staff members from 13 Member Federations are working in headquarters managing events such as the like IAAF World Championships, communicating with the member federations, and maintaining relationships with official partners.

Since its creation the IAAF has only seen five presidents, the first being Sigfrid Edström (1912 to 1946), who was succeeded by Lord Burghley (1946 to 1976), then Adriaan Paulen (1976~1981), and Primo Nebiolo (1981~1999). On 8 November 1999, the IAAF welcomed the current President, Mr. Lamine Diack as the first non-European president. Mr. Diack was also an athlete in his earlier years, competing in the Men’s Long Jump, holding the French/West African Record from 1957~1960.

Competitions organized by the IAAF

The IAAF organizes many Championship level events, among them the IAAF World Championships in Athletics is the largest and most popular event. In addition to the various Championships, the IAAF also hosts a series of One-day events in the Samsung Diamond League and the IAAF World Challenge. For more information about the IAAF’s events please check them out at http://www.iaaf.org/.

2010년 11월 18일 목요일

The 6th IAAF World Championships in Athletics - Athens 1997

After spending the last IAAF World Championships in Sweden’s cool climate, the IAAF World Championships moved south in 1997 to the Mediterranean as Athens, Greece was announced as the proud host city of the 6th IAAF World Championships.

It was just a matter of time before the IAAF World Championships went back to the birth place of athletics competitions. Thought the city had hosted many events, ancient and modern, the World Championships held a special place in the hearts of all of the citizens. Upon learning about the successful bid the city worked tirelessly to host one of the best World Championships ever.

The 6th IAAF World Championships was held in the 70,000 seat Ολυμπιακό Στάδιο (Olympic Stadium) which was built in 1982. At the time the Olympic Stadium was the best and most high-tech venue, making for a very special World Championships. The venue welcomed out did previous editions with the attendance of 1,882 athletes from 198 member federations during the competition period.

This year was a great one for the United States, as Maurice Greene retook the gold medal in the Men’s 100m beating the current World Champion, Donovan Bailey (CAN) with a blistering time of 9.86.

Korea submitted LEE Jin-Taek, a promising young athlete in the Men’s High Jump. Lee was expected to be the first Korean to ever place in the World Championships but his jumps came up short and finished in eight place.

It was because of the unrelenting efforts of the Organizing Committee, the athletes’ spirit, and the spectators’ excitement that the 6th IAAF World Championships Athens 1993 was a success. With a sold out Opening Ceremony and a total of 730,000 spectators attending the events (20,000 spectators more than Gothenburg) Athens proved once again to the world that it is the home of athletics.

We will see you again in 1999 in Seville, Spain for the 7th IAAF World Championships in athletics.

2010년 11월 15일 월요일

The 5th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Gothenburg 1995

In 1995 the fifth city selected to host the prestigious IAAF World Championships was Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg. No stranger to hosting international events the city’s 50,000 citizens warmly welcomed the World Championships.

Moscot & Emblem of the IAAF World
Championships Gothenburg 1995

Economically this city has been known as the largest shipbuilding city in Scandinavia since the early 17th century in addition to being a local automotive, textile, paper and flour powerhouse.

The host venue for the 5th IAAF World Championships was the stunning Ullevi Stadium. As the largest stadium in Scandinavia, the venue boasts a seating capacity of 43,000 and 60,000 in a concert setting. Ullevi Stadium was originally built to host the 1958 FIFA World Cup, but has been used to host a variety of international sporting events to include the IAAF World Championships, UEFA cup, Championships in Athletics and many high profile concerts.

During the 5th IAAF World Championships, Gothenburg welcomed the largest number of athletes, federations, and spectators in IAAF History, with 1804 athletes from 191 member federations and 590,000 spectators attending the events. The event was an unprecedented success.

The most notable thing about this edition of the World Championships was the diverse spread of nationalities in medal spread. It was this year that Canada surprised the world and took the top two spots in the 100m and took the gold in the Men’s 4x100m with Donovan Bailey leading the team to victory. USA’s Michael Johnson also did the unthinkable when he secured the gold medal in the Men’s 200m, 400m, and 4x400m Relay.

Though the United States lost the Men’s 100m, they still came out on top in overall medal count with 19 medals (12 of them gold). There was a great disparity in the medal table as the closest competitor was Belarus with 7 medals (2 gold). Many believe that the great difference in medals earned was partially due to the division of the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe’s focus on rebuilding their nations financially and not on athletics.

See you next time in 1997 for the Athens, Greece for the 6th IAAF World Championships in Athletics!

2010년 11월 14일 일요일

Palgong Mountain, The Experience of a Lifetime

Palgong Mountain or Palgongsan as it is known locally, is one of the most visited areas in Daegu. The beautiful mountain chain is not only home to many plants and animals, but also to many of Korea’s National Treasures.

One of the most fascinating National Treasures that embraces both the natural and the manmade is Daegu’s Gatbawi (Sitting Stone Buddha). This amazing work of art is nestled at 850m above sea level on Gwanbong Peak.

Gatbawi greets many visitors throughout the year as worshipers from around the country come to the Buddha to pray. This Buddha is believed to have the ability to hear at least one wish from every truly sincere individual.

This is ‘Il Jumun’ the vibrant entrance to the trail leading to Gatbawi.

Before hiking up the mountain please take a quick look at the Palgong Mountain Provincial Park Map.

We were lucky this morning, as we were able to catch the morning fog, providing the necessary mystical feeling.

After hiking halfway up the mountain you will find a cozy little restaurant where food is provided free-of-charge to all those visiting Gatbawi. Although the food is free, you can always give a voluntary donation for the needy.

If you go up a little bit farther you will find a small temple which is crowded by those who praying or simply resting.

Though this is a rather remote location, Daegu City has provided the location with free Wi-Fi!

The top of mountain is not much further. You can make it! From this point it is only a 20~40 minute walk, depending on your pace, to the peak.

We have finally made it to the top. We were amazed to see so many people are gathered around Gatbawi.

As you can see, it is mostly middle-aged women praying to the statue.
The reason for it being mostly women is because they are mostly mothers praying for their children who are preparing for their SATs in Nov. The mothers are praying for good grades and successful university applications.

The Buddha’s official name is Gwanbong Seokjo-Yeorae-Jwasan, which translated means “Sitting Stone Buddha.” It is because of the 15cm thick traditional style stone hat or “Gat” that the Buddha has become knonw now only as “Gatbawi.” The Buddha’s hat is not held on by any substance but has remained for years, enduring typhoons and storms.

On the side of Gatbawi, we found lots of coins stuck on the wall. We discovered that this is because the visitors believe that if the coin fits in a gap between rocks, your wishes will fulfilled. It is a peculiar site to see these coins placed on a vertical wall without falling. I took a moment to look around at the scenery around Gatbawi and I was awestruck by the beautiful landscape.

A unique thing about hiking in Korea is that in the middle of the mountain, you may encounter merchants who are selling herbs, grains and pumpkin candy. These places provide a better price than those in town and you can also haggle for the best price.

On your way back down, you come across a beautiful temple named “Gwanamsa.” This is a great place to rest and grab a quick drink of cool water at the small well in the front entrance.

You will also come across a beautiful bridge after leaving Gwanamsa, where you will find more people praying for good fortune under the bridge.

As you hike in Korea you will notice many stone towers. These are built by the hikers and are believed to help wishes come true. To have your wish granted you must place your stone on the top without knocking over any of the other rocks. If you destroy the pile your wish will not be granted and you will be cursed for destroying the other wishes.

At the end of our hike we came across a banner for the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011!
If you decide to take a different course than we did today, you should go to the Palgong Mountain information centre, where you will be able to find many guide books and maps.

After climbing, we decided to have lunch. We ordered the hand-made noodles (Guk-Su) and seafood pancake (Pancheon) both of which are considered specialties Palgong Mountain. The meals are well priced, ranging from KRW 4,500 to KRW 10,000.

To get back to central Daegu you just need to follow the signs to the bust stop and take bus number 401 to “A-yang Bridge.” The bus is very cheap and safe, costing only KRW 1,100.

To find out more information about Gatbawi, please follow the link below!