Date : 30 Apr 2018
Pyongyang, DPR Korea, April 30, 2018: The Olympic Council of Asia was given a look behind the scenes of the DPR Korea’s preparations for the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia this summer on a venue tour of the Pyongyang Sports Village on Monday afternoon.
DPRK Olympic Committee officials Ri Un Chol and O Kwang Hyok took the OCA guests to three gymnasiums along Chongchun Street, which is located in the southern part of Pyongyang City. “The Sports Village has 15 gymnasiums or training centres and can provide facilities and equipment for elite athletes from some 20 sports,” said Mr Ri.
“The Sports Village took less than two years to build and was finished in 1988. Everything was renovated in 2013 and this is where all the top athletes are training for the Asian Games when they are not competing overseas, such as the diving team and table tennis team at the moment.”
The first port of call was the table tennis gymnasium, where female and male members of the various national teams were starting their afternoon session with warm-up and stretching exercises before serve and receive practice.
Next up was the indoor swimming pool complex, which included the busy diving pool platforms and springboards, and finally the weightlifting hall, which has an amphitheatre-style competition arena and a training centre which was a hive of noisy activity on this particular afternoon.
Weightlifting is one of DPR Korea’s most productive medal sports at the Olympic Games and Asian Games and it was not hard to see why, due to the intensity of the training and the vocal encouragement of coaches and fellow athletes alike.
Mr Ri said the Sports City was built at the personal motivation and initiative of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il to provide elite athletes with top-class facilities, and that the Sports Ministry received total support from the Government in training the best athletes in a wide range of sports.
“The President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach, visited the Sports Village recently and said he was very impressed with the gymnasiums and also to find so many top-class facilities for different sports along the same road,” added Mr Ri.
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