The Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum took place in Seoul, South Korea from Oct. 18 to 19, where the 1988 Seoul Olympics were held.
This is the first Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum “to create a better world for the future generation through Olympic legacy” proposed by the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO), which was previously Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee (SLOOC), and approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The forum was a golden opportunity for stakeholders to exchange experiences on a wide range of topics, from pre-Games legacy and intangible legacies to long-term legacy benefits and legacy governance.
“Thirty-four years ago, the 24th Summer Olympic Games was held here in Seoul, South Korea. As an official of the central government at the time, I took part in preparing and hosting the Seoul Olympics as a Korean government official,” said Cho Hyun-jae, CEO of the KSPO.
“The 1988 Seoul Olympics served as a turning point in the history of Korea which helped Korea, a developing country, take the center stage in the international community at once.”
KSPO CEO Cho Hyun-jae delivers a congratulatory speech in the opening ceremony of the Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum.
“As you know, Olympic Park and other legacies of the Seoul Olympics are excellent examples of Olympic legacies recognized by the IOC,” Cho added. “However, compared to tangible Olympic legacies, intangible Olympic legacies have not received much attention, I think.”
Furthermore, Cho added he was disappointed that the Seoul Olympic Legacy had a positive impact only in Korea. “Olympic legacies can do more to create a better world through sports and a peaceful world without war and discrimination,” he said.
Cho added that he believes the IOC and Olympic legacy management entities around the world must work together in order to achieve this grand dream. “To realize this dream, we have prepared the Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum this time” he said.
The forum invited officials handling Olympic legacy affairs at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), those who are responsible for Olympic legacy management around the world, including Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO), and officials responsible for Olympic legacy at each National Olympic Committee.
In particular, President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and former Secretary General Bank Ki-moon of the United Nations delivered congratulatory remarks at the opening ceremony.
IOC President Thomas Bach gives a keynote address at the forum held under the theme of “Olympic Legacy and the Next Generation.”
IOC President Thomas Bach gave a keynote address at the Forum, held under the theme of “Olympic Legacy and the Next Generation”, emphasizing the importance of the Olympic Games as a unique platform to create opportunities and drive change to have a positive impact on millions of people.
“With a clear focus on legacy, the Olympic Games can be a powerful catalyst for transformation and sustainable development of hosts and to create a positive impact for their citizens.”
“The ultimate aim of Olympic legacy is to ensure that people and communities benefit for generations to come from hosting the Olympic Games,” Bach said.
“This is what brings all of us together today. A belief in the power of sport will become a force for good in the world.”
Attendees including Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, pose for a photo after signing an Korean Olympic heritage management body MOU at the opening ceremony of the Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum held at the Olympic Parktel in Seoul on Oct. 18.
President Bach emphasized the importance of working together with attending guests, legacy entities, host National Olympic Committees and future Organizing Committees.
“Here is where we all can play a role to shape a brighter future for our communities. What all the Olympic legacy projects from all around the world demonstrate: the essential ingredient to successful legacy is teamwork.
Only when all stakeholders - the Organizing Committees, National Olympic Committees, legacy entities, the public authorities at all levels, community representatives and so many more - it is only when we all come together that the outcome is greater than the sum of the parts.”
The forum included six discussion sessions from an ESG perspective, including presentations about the long-term benefits of the Olympics in environment.
Members of organizations managing Olympic legacy, and Olympic legacy organization at the International Olympic Committee participated in presentations and discussions to talk about the present and future of Olympic legacy as well as ways for mutual cooperation.
Legacy entities also agreed on a joint declaration at the Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum. Together they will engage diverse social groups in creating an Olympic legacy, collaborate with other stakeholders, and share best practices while also promoting and celebrating the legacy of the Games.
“Olympic legacy is very important for the IOC,” says Marie Sallois, Director of Corporate and Sustainable Development at the IOC. “This is the reason why the different cities and countries host the Olympic Games, to create lasting benefits for the population and their cities. We can see that these benefits are still very much alive all across the world in the different places that received the Games.”
As a priority topic for the IOC, the importance of an Olympic legacy is specifically addressed in the Olympic Charter and highlighted in recommendations in Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the IOC’s strategic roadmap.
The delivery of lasting benefits to host cities, regions and populations is an integral part of hosting an Olympics Games. Legacy entities have reiterated their commitment to supporting the Olympic vision to build a better world through sport for the next generation.
The participants adopted Olympic legacy entities’ joint declaration. In the joint declaration, they say that the Olympic Games are more than just two weeks of sports competitions.
“As their reach and visibility continue to grow, so do the opportunities for their organizers to deliver lasting benefits to the host cities and regions, and their populations,” they said in the joint declaration.
These benefits, known as “Olympic legacy,” begin to take shape even before the Olympic Games begin.
“At their very heart are benefits related to sport, such as increased opportunities for physical activity and sports practice, or upgraded training centers and sports facilities. Olympic legacy goes beyond sport, however,” they emphasized.
IOC President Thomas Bach, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, and KSPO CEO Cho Hyun-jae and other guests, hold a work, drawn by Seok Chang-woo, a painter with disabilities in both his hands in celebration of the holding of Seoul Olympic Legacy Forum at the Peace Gate Observatory at Olympic Park in Songpa-gu, Seoul, on Oct. 18.
The Games creates a unique platform for the development of educational projects, professional skills training, new career opportunities, new cultural heritage assets, growth of the volunteering movement, increased global visibility for the hosts, and accelerated urban development.
After the Games, many of these benefits continue, becoming an integral part of the activities of local organizations according to the joint declaration.
Local authorities and National Olympic Committees may create Olympic legacy entities, including through the use of the surplus from the Games, to further develop the opportunities created by the Games and contribute to the development of local communities.