South Korea Prez Downplays Safety Concerns As PyeongChang Medals Are Unveiled
Officials promoting the '18 PyeongChang Games emphasized South Korea's security and culture as they unveiled a unique medal design last night in front of an elite audience of U.S. business and sports figures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in N.Y. In between three Korean musical performances and a dinner that included Korean drinks and dessert, South Korea President Moon Jae-in addressed the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis. "There is no need to worry about safety during the Olympics," Moon said, according to a translation. "I suppose no one here has ever heard of people in Korea gripped with fear about their safety due to threats such as terrorism. Indeed, Korea is one of the safest countries in the world." He listed several major sporting events held without incident during the split Korea era, including the '88 Seoul Games and the '02 FIFA World Cup. Execs from several prominent Olympics sponsors attended, including GE Dir of Olympic & Sports Marketing Chris Katsuleres; Procter & Gamble Associate Brand Dir/Global Tom Duncan; Deloitte Sports Consulting leader Pete Giorgio; and Ralph Lauren CMO Jonathan Bottomley. Also attending were IOC Exec Board VP Anita DeFrantz, USOC CMO Lisa Baird, veteran Olympic sponsorship salesman Rob Prazmark, former NHLer Mike Richter, Gold Medal-winning figure skater Sarah Hughes, and three winter NGB chief execs: Bobsled & Skeleton's Darrin Steele, Biathlon's Max Cobb and Luge's Jim Leahy. The formal affair was held in a large room containing The Temple of Dendur, an ancient Egyptian holy site relocated to the Met in '63. The medals, designed by industrial designer Lee Suk-woo, feature bold diagonal lines and three-dimensional Korean text indicating the sport and discipline. The N.Y. event proceeded simultaneously with a separate unveiling in Seoul.