With just one year to go to the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Gangwon 2024, the local Organising Committee (YOGOC) has today unveiled its official mascot “Moongcho”, song and choreography. All three of these were developed by young people in Korea. The YOGOC also appointed b-girl and YOG medallist Yeri Kim as an honorary ambassador.
Mascot, song and choreography unveiled
Mascot Moongcho represents a snowball, born out of a snowball fight between Soohorang and Bandabi, the mascots of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Full of sportsmanship like its predecessors, Moongcho builds on the legacy of PyeongChang 2018. The mascot wears goggles and a scarf and is waiting for the Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games with a pounding heart, just like the athletes.
Moongcho’s name is derived from the Korean word “Moongchida”, which means to bring together various thoughts and powers. Created by Korean college student Soo-Yeon Park.Moongcho is a leader with lots of passion and courage who always reaches out his hand to help.
IOC President Thomas Bach commented: “The unveiling of the mascot is always an important milestone, and with just one year to go today, we can be confident that the youth of the world will have an outstanding experience during their time in Gangwon. The Organising Committee has leveraged the legacy of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, appointed inspiring ambassadors and created a young and enthusiastic team who will make the athletes feel at home. We can look forward to truly great Winter Youth Olympic Games, with great sports performances in the Olympic spirit of solidarity and peace.”
The Gangwon 2024 YOGOC also unveiled the official song for the Games, entitled “We Go High”. The song expresses the growth of the young people, as the athletes joyfully take part in the YOG, and symbolises the peaceful future that they are creating. The winner of the song competition, music student Keun Hak Kim (25), included in the lyrics a message for the young athletes to believe in themselves and chase their dreams at the YOG. The song is performed by Keun Hak Kim, young artist Choi Seo-Yeon and the ChunCheon City Youth Choir.
The accompanying choreography was performed for the first time at the one-year to go event in PyeongChang by a group of 60 young people, composed of local students, a dance team and athletes who are part of the Dream Programme managed by the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation.
Coordination Commission Chair and IOC Member Hong Zhang explained: “The engagement and mobilisation of local youth is a top priority. Young people hold the power to shape and transform our society in ways that are both significant and meaningful. By providing opportunities for them to engage in sport and Olympic values education, we can empower them to become role models in their communities. Gangwon 2024 is not just about competition, it's about creating opportunities for local youth to reach their full potential and contribute to building a better future for all.”
In line with its vision – “Youth celebrating peaceful coexistence and unity through sport to create a better future together” – the Gangwon 2024 YOGOC is aiming to actively engage young people, empowering them to share opinions and grow together through participation. The mascot and song come from nationwide public contests run last year by the YOGOC for young people aged between 14 and 24.
Yeri Kim appointed as honorary ambassador
The Gangwon 2024 organisers also officially presented b-girl Yeri Kim, who clinched a bronze medal at the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, as an honorary ambassador. Yeri Kim said: "I expect the Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 to have exceptional athletes. In addition to the athletic competition, the YOG also focus on unity and bringing diverse groups of young people together. This was my experience in Buenos Aires, where I met athletes from all over the world and we bonded over our shared passion for sport. I hope the Gangwon 2024 Games will also be a place for unity and friendship among young athletes."
YOGOC Secretary General Kim Chulmin continued: "The spirit of Olympism is based on fair competition, and the YOG are an opportunity for young athletes to get to know each other through various exchanges. The YOG will allow athletes who participate to not only compete, but also develop and grow. Through many different cultural exchanges, festival and other activities, young people will have the opportunity to meet each other and unite as they learn about the Olympic spirit."
Also present at the one-year-to-go event, Gangwon 2024 honorary ambassador and Olympic figure skating champion Yuna Kim expressed her support to the athletes who will be at the start of their YOG adventure on this day next year. Both ambassadors will work to promote Gangwon 2024 and engage the domestic and international young public to get behind the Youth Olympic Games.
Gangwon 2024 dedicated website launched
The International Olympic Committee has also launched today the Gangwon 2024 website on its digital platform, Olympics.com, which provides a comprehensive source for all Games-related information. Fans can learn more about Gangwon 2024, the venues, the athletes, the sports and the brand, and get up to speed on the latest YOG news. During the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, fans will also be able to keep up to date on the competitions and the athletes’ results.
About Gangwon 2024
The 4th Winter YOG taking place in Gangwon, Republic of Korea, will be held between 19 January and 1 February 2024. The first Winter YOG to be held in Asia will provide a platform for young athletes to showcase their skills and compete against their peers on the international stage. Gangwon 2024 will benefit from PyeongChang’s 2018 Olympic Winter Games’ legacy by using several of the same facilities for the YOG. Approximately 1,900 athletes from around 81 National Olympic Committees are expected to take part.