With fewer than 400 days left until the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, young athletes from around the globe are heading to Pyeongchang.
They're coming for the Dream Program 2017, which will host 170 youths from 40 countries.
This annual program invites young people to come to Pyeongchang from regions with little snow or from countries where winter sports are not widely known. Participants will be able to train in winter sports, such as skiing and ice skating, and enjoy cultural experiences during their stay in Gangwon-do Province.
Marking its 14th anniversary, this year’s program will be held from Jan. 9 to 21 at the Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang and at the Gangneung Ice Arena. The slogan this year is “You are champs! We are friends!”
A total of 170 athletes from 40 countries will participate in the Dream Program 2017, which will be held from Jan. 9 to 21 in Pyeongchang and Gangneung. This annual program aims at widening understanding about winter sports among youth from countries where there is less snow or where winter sports aren't that popular.
Over the past 13 years, a total of 1,749 young athletes from 80 countries have participated in the program. Among them, 179 went on to participate in international winter sports competitions. As such, the Dream Program has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the International Ski Federation (FIS) and by countries from all around the world.
Participants in this year’s program will practice their alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, figure skating and short track skating in the snow or at the ice rinks of Korea.
There will also be friendly matches during the program so that the budding athletes can show what they've learned. They will receive a special lecture from short track gold medalist Ko Gi-hyun, inspect Olympic-related facilities, and broaden their understanding about the Olympic Winter Games. Program participants include four attendees from Syria or other troubled areas, and 27 athletes with disabilities.
The government of Gangwon-do Province said, “The Dream Program can offer opportunities for young athletes from around the world to have fun enjoying winter sports so that they can become promising athletes in the future.”