Ministry of Culture, Sports And Tourism of the Republic of Korea

02/23/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/22/2024 23:54

Encouragement for the National Paralympic Team Participating in the Erzurum 2023 Winter Deaflympics

Encouragement for the National Paralympic Team Participating in the Erzurum 2023 Winter Deaflympics

Date Feb 23, 2024

Minister YU In Chon to Support Team at the "Erzurum 2023 Winter Deaflympics Dispatch Ceremony" on Feb 22

Inspects Icheon Training Center and Dines with National Athletes, Gathering Feedback from athletes

On the morning of February 22 (Thur), Minister YU In Chon of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) attended the "Winter Deaflympics Erzurum 2023 Team Dispatch Ceremony" held at the KPC Icheon Training Center to support our national paralympic team competing in the tournament. In addition, he will inspect the facilities of the Icheon Training Center and have lunch with the national team athletes stationed there.[1]

The ceremony featured over 100 participants, including athletes, coaches, staff of the Korea Deaf Sports Federation, and Chairman JUNG Jin Owan of the Korea Paralympic Committee, conducting the opening remarks, team dispatch speech, introduction of the team, congratulatory speeches, screening of support videos from various sectors, and celebratory performances. Notably, Minister YU In Chon also presented encouragement awards to the team, wishing them success and safety at the competition.

The "Erzurum 2023 Winter Deaflympics," postponed for a year due to hosting circumstances, will be held in Türkiye from March 2 to 12. The South Korean delegation comprises 52 members (including athletes, coaches, and support staff) competing against athletes from around the world in four sports: alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, and curling.

Minister YU Inspects Training Environment at Icheon Training Center and Listens to Athletes' On-Site Feedback

After the ceremony, Minister YU In Chon personally inspected the training facilities of the Icheon Training Center. This includes the indoor gymnasium, boccia court, archery range, and shooting range. He also visited the sports science lab and sports medicine room that support the athletes' advanced training and medical needs, and the fitness room expanded in 2021, to ensure the athletes have a safe environment to focus on their training.

Moreover, Minister YU had lunch at the athlete's cafeteria with national representatives, including swimmer JO Gi Seong, goalball player KIM Hee Jin, table tennis player YOON Ji Yu, fencer JO Eun Hye, rugby player KIM Dong Sun, curler KIM Ji Soo, as well as JEONG Eun Sun, the women's national goalball team coach, and Chairman JUNG Jin Owan, listening to their on-site feedback.

Creating a stable and continuous training environment for national athletes with disabilities

Establishing a national team performance analysis lab, operating a science-based personalized training system

Furthermore, the Ministry aims to improve the environment for national athletes with disabilities for continuous and steady training. This year, adjustments in meal, off-center training, and accommodation expenses aim to bolster the support for the classification of paralympic sports. The National Paralympic Team Performance Analysis Lab was established to enhance the athletes' performance, coupled with support for participation in international competitions. In ensuring athletes' well-being, the Ministry also supports the operation of an on-site, science-based training team, incorporating data analysis to underpin scientific and personalized training systems based on the athletes' physical, psychological, and technical aspects.

Preparations for the "Paris 2024 Paralympic Games" are also underway, and the final selection of national team representatives will take place in July. Selected athletes will enhance their skills through 30 days of special training, overseas sports training, and precompetition training camps.

Minister YU stated, "We will support our athletes to receive fair recognition for the value of their efforts, ensuring that everyone in our society can equally enjoy the right to sports. Most importantly, the health and safety of our athletes are paramount. As national representatives, I hope they will do their best to showcase their time-honed skills in any competition."

[1]The Deaflympics is a competition for deaf athletes held every four years, akin to the Olympics, with the Summer Games starting in 1924 and the Winter Games starting in 1949.