Most of staff and athletes participating in the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 are going to stay in Athletes’ Village located in Eastern Daegu during the Event. Today, we had a chance to get information about Athletes’ Village from Mr. Young-Soo Kim, the Director of the Athletes’ Village Management Division.
Q | Tell us about Athletes’ Village Division.
This division is responsible for all preparations regarding accommodation, relaxation, cultural events and the various convenience facilities for 3,500 athletes and officials from 212 countries and the 650 press members.
Q | What’s the specific role of each team?
Athletes’ Village Management Division consists of three teams; General Management, Room Service and Facility Management.
Firstly, the General Management Team will be responsible for the operation of all administrative services including staff deployment and goods provision. The Room Service Team will manage/operate all of the athletes’ rooms as well as their health, entertainment, and convenience. Staff member in this team are required to spend most of their time with athletes directly and also have to complete time-sensitive tasks.
Finally, the Facility Management Team will manage all available facilities for convenience, health, and accommodations for athletes as well as the offices for the press and staff.
Q | It seems the Athletes’ Village Construction has progressed a lot. What is current status?
Korea Land & House Corporation is in charge of construction and has informed us that the apartment buildings are currently 97% completed. To put it another way, building construction is almost completed and interior, surrounding landscape is still needed to be done. Lodging for athletes will be divided into four different styles; there are 528 households in 9 buildings which have 2,032 rooms available. Room assignments will be done with consideration given to the member federations.
Q | What are distinctive features of the Athletes’ Village?
I think that the physical and mental condition of athletes is the key when hosting an international athletics event. Therefore, the Athlete’s Village must be the comfortable space, a home away from home if you will.
The key to the Village is comfort. The Village is located in cozy site in front of a river, and has relatively low traffic flow. Additionally there’s not only accommodation but also more than 20 facilities including a beauty salon, arcade, laundry, bank, team bar and post office available to the athletes.
Another key aspect is the idea of an Eco-village. All buildings in the Village were designed to reduce energy consumption and improved efficiency through solar power and equipment to reuse rainwater. The Village will also boast beautiful flowers and trees for tired athletes.
In promoting our country and city, we have decided to decorate with the pattern derived from Korea's traditional lanterns, pavilions, Sotdae (village guardian) and to create a pumpkin vine tunnel which is symbol of our rural area and exhibition hall of our agricultural products will be installed.
To protect the athletes from the heat, vending machines with bottled water and beverages will be installed around village and training venue. We are doing the utmost to ensure that the athletes and other guests have the best possible impression of Daegu and Korea before they return to their countries.
Q | Is there any space for athletes’ to practice while staying in the Village?
Of course. We have established Training Venues in front Village, near the Kumho River. The area will have facilities for long/short/middle distance runners as well as throwing and jumping facilities.
Q | What is the plan for the Village after the Event?
The apartments that make up the Athletes' and Media Village will be sold to local citizens, and will be turned into community housing after the Championships with the help of LH Corporation. Although competitions will be over, the Village will be a lasting legacy of the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011.
Q | I heard you’ve been recently at the Asian games in Guangzhou, how was the Village in
I think the most impressive thing in Athletes’ Village of Guangzhou is the size of restaurant. But felt that interior is little bit monotonous because the only furniture in the rooms is a bed and table. In Daegu we will not only have these but we will also install traditional Korean interior accessories but also reading light, TV, coffee pot, microwaves, tables, sofas so that athletes can rest comfortably.
Q | Lastly, tell us your wishes and resolutions for the Event.
The Athletes' Village and Media Village is where the athletes and officials will spend the majority of their time during the event. So the successful operation of the Village is a key to the success of event. All employees, including myself work together to make the most memorable and beautiful event than ever.