102nd National Athletic Games Slated for October in Gumi
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102nd National Athletic Games Slated for October in Gumi
Will be held Oct. 8 to Oct. 14 under the catchphrase “A New Gyeongsangbuk-do! A Happy Korea!”

24(Fri), Sep, 2021

Geyongsangbuk-do Gov. Lee Cheol-woo and other dignitaries pose with “Saeromi” and “Haengboki,” the mascots of the 102nd National Athletic Games and the 41st National Para Games in a ceremony to wish for the success of the sports festival at the courtyard of the Gyeongsangbuk-do provincial government on June 10.

Geyongsangbuk-do Gov. Lee Cheol-woo.

The 102nd National Athletic Games and the 41st National Para Games will be held in Gumi and other areas in Gyeongbuk in October, Gyeongsangbuk-do Gov. Lee Cheol-woo said.

The 102nd National Athletic Games, which was originally scheduled last year, has been postponed due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in its 100-year history.

The national athletic festival will take place in October with vaccinations, social-distancing guidelines, and steps to prevent infections in place.

The 102nd National Athletic Games will be held in Gyeongbuk for the first time in 15 years, when the 87th Games took place in Gimcheon in 2006.

The upcoming national athletic festival will take on significance since the Gyeongsangbuk-do Athletic Association will mark the 100th anniversary next year, Gov. Lee said.

The catchphrase “A New Gyeongsangbuk-do! A Happy Korea!” means that Gyeongsangbuk-do is striving to become a center of Korea once again. Its emblem contains Gyeongbuk’s four minds, a move designed to symbolize the province’s image of galloping for a bright future dynamically.

Its mascots, “Saeromi” and “Haengboki,” are based on the motif “New Wind, Happy Gyeongbuk” and are designed to describe the national athletic festival, in which a new wave of fresh wind blows in Gyeongbuk, making all people across the nation happy.

The 102nd National Athletic Games will take place at 71 sports venues in 11 cities and counties, including Gumi’s Municipal Stadium, from Oct. 8 to Oct. 14.

About 30,000 athletes from 17 city and provincial squads and 18 overseas compatriot teams will compete in 47 sports – 46 regular sports and one demonstration sport.

A poster to publicize the 102nd National Athletic Games and the 41st National Para Games.

The 41st Para Games will be held at 36 sports venues in 12 cities and counties from Oct. 20 to Oct. 25.
The sports of the upcoming sports festival include sepak takraw, fin swimming, sjoelen and showdown.

Sepak takraw is a sport of Southeast Asia, in which a small rattan ball is kicked back and forth over a net. Fin swimming is an underwater sport consisting of four techniques involving swimming with the use of fins either on the water's surface using a snorkel.

Sjoelen and showdown are demonstration sports, to be held during the upcoming para games. Sjoelen is a traditional Dutch game played with 30 wooden ‘stones’ and a wooden board.

Gov. Lee said, “Opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming national sports festival will demonstrate Gyeongbuk’s power, which will drive Korea for next 100 years.”

Creative performances, combined with Gyeongbuk’s four minds — Hwarang spirit, “seonbi” spirit, national defense and Saemaul Movement — will be shown under the theme “See Gyeongsangbukd0! Open a New Tomorrow!” to deliver a message of hope.

Face-to-face performances will be minimized as much as possible by utilizing the latest video performing techniques and connecting a variety of online televising programs to make the opening and closing ceremonies safe and exciting.

Former chairman Lee Hee-bum of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games Organization Committee, now representative director of the Gyeongbuk Arts & Cultural Foundation, has been appointed as a special adviser of opening and closing ceremonies to present infinite heart-throbbing moments to people. Most of sport competition facilities are already ready.

Geyongsangbuk-do Gov. Lee Cheol-woo delivers a speech at a ceremony to launch a provincial residents’ committee for the successful hosting of the 102nd National Athletic Games and the 41st National Para Games on June 30.

The Gumi Municipal Stadium, in which opening and closing ceremonies will be held, was improved with a budget of 45 billion won.

The Multi-purpose Sport Center, designed to accommodate city and provincial operation headquarters and bowling alleys, has been built. The refurbishment and repair of 40 sporting facilities in 12 cities and counties has been completed.

The construction of the approach road to the main stadium and environmental renewal projects surrounding sports venues have been finished.

The provincial government appointed 300 provincial civilian representatives from diverse sectors on the occasion of the 100-day lead-in to the opening of the sports festival on June 30, in order to lend an ear to voices related to the national athletic games and make it a success.

Gov. Lee stresses that the provincial government is devoting itself to making seamless preparations to hold the festival in a safe and kind fashion.

The national sports festival consists of about 3,000 volunteers for the guidance and offering convenience to the participating athletes and spectators, 1,500 overseas compatriot athletes and 14,121 cheering supporters from 240 institutions.


A disinfection regime will be built to keep all athletes and spectators safe during the completion.

All people will be required to be inoculated against COVID-19 pandemic and undergo a PCR test for the coronavirus to make the sports festival safe from the pandemic.

Anti-infection mobilization teams will be operated, and doctors and nurses will be manned to brace for safety accidents at sports venues.

Gov. Lee said the upcoming sports festival will be a watersheds event to prepare for the development of Korea’s sports for the next 100 years. To this end, he said, “We’re making seamless and thorough preparations.”

Geyongsangbuk-do Gov. Lee Cheol-woo tours Gumi Municipal Stadium, the main venue of the 102nd National Athletic Games and the 41st National Para Games, on March 23 to look into Gyeongbuk’s preparations for hosting the sports festival. (Photos: Gyeongbuk)

Gyeongsangbuk-do will make its utmost to promote people’s grand harmony in the post-COVID-19 pandemic and create a new wave of reinvigorating Korea’s national economy at the time when all the people are striving to overcome the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Lee said. He called for people’s full support and cheering up for it.

In a related development, the 102nd National Athletic Games and the 41st National Para Games will open on Oct. 8 for a seven-day run with competitions for 47 sports, but only high-school competitions will be allowed to take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters announced a plan to hold the national sports festival on Sept. 17.

The sports festival will be hosted by the Korea Sport & Olympic Committee and organized by the Gyeongsangbuk-do Educational Board and Gyeongsangbuk-do Sport Council. The sports festival will last from Oct. 8 to 14. The para games will take place from Oct. 20 to 25.

The government decided to allow only the high school competitions to be held during the national sports festival to prevent the spread of the pandemic through the holding of a large-sized sports event.

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