With almost a month away until the Daegu 2011 IAAF World Championships starting the 27th of August, the city is hearty, thumping and throbbing with excitement, waiting to greet fiercely competitive athletes from all over the world. The event will be plainly the biggest of all as a record-breaking 3,850 people from 207 countries are just around the corner to join and compete for 9 days this time.
IAAF stands for International Association of Athletics Federations. It is the international governing entity that oversees the sports of athletics. It was first started at Stockholm, Sweden in 1912 after following up on the need for approval and guidelines regarding the relevant rules and definition of the word amateur. A number of regulations involved have been revised since, so did its name in 2001, when amateur dropped out of IAAF. The headquarters stayed in both Stockholm and London for 70 years (1912 ~ 1993), and moved to Monaco in October 1993. It has been operating there since then. IAAF is comprised of Council, Congress and Committee & Commission.
The Korea IT Times took some time to glimpse at how Daegu is prepping for this forthcoming international competition.
The Daegu 2011 IAAF World Championships has so far enlisted 207 preliminary country members out of 212, which will bring 2,472 athletes and 1,378 staff. And the final entry list after August 15th is likely to come out with more final members. If successful, Daegu 2011 will go down in history as the biggest for sure. Back in 2009, the Berlin IAAF World Championship hosted 201 countries with 1,984 athletes.
The preparations have been made as planned without any hiccup. And Daegu is now at its final stage to accommodate what should be the best and the largest. Things have been put in place ahead of time. As of July 10, 73.6% of tickets are sold already, with 8.3% for the international audience. the infrastructure is all set and ready - Daegu Stadium, Athletes' Village, Media Village, Road Race Course, International Broadcasting Center, and the Main Press Center. And 6,700 volunteers, 17,000 public supporters, and 2,500 university students promised to underpin the 9-day event.
Plus, drumming up to set the tone prior to the championship is one of the preparations that no one should overlook. Some entertaining events like music concerts and a volunteer launching ceremony are taking place on July 28th to spark people's interest. And the media mediums of TV programs, radio, and news channels have been organized for this end. Other familiar online tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and major portal websites will make some noise on the Internet with a marketing campaign as well.
And art and musical festivals and promotional events are expected to give a huge boost along with participation from the world record holders like Usain Bolt, and Asafa Powell. Three different festivals are arranged before and after the championships with a few impressive performances and musical feats. During the game, cultural ceremonies and street cheering events will be popping up around the vicinity. Also traditional culture shows, exhibitions, and other similar events are scheduled to be staged for competitors and their staff.
Some festivals are worthy of notice. The exhibition at Daegu Municipal Museum of Art (May 2011 to February 2012), the ceremony for the 2011 IAAF Championship at Daegu Cultural & Arts Center (August 17-30, 2011), the opera Bat at Daegu Opera House(September 1-3, 2011), Daegu International Body Painting Festival at Kolon Outdoor Music Hall (August 27 and 28, 2011), a performance art festival at the National Debt Movement Memorial Park and 3 more locations (August 28, 2011 to September 3, 2011), Post 2011 the 8th Asia Song Festival at Daegu Stadium (October 2011).
What The Championship Brings
Taking on this international event, Daegu and in a broader sense, South Korea hopes to tap into it, expecting more attention and recognition from the world, which will lead to three eventual points; the development for tourism and sports industries, polishing brand images for domestic companies, and national economic growth from foreign investments. Also, multiple cultural events are to open during the period to introduce Daegu's lifestyle, culture, and its environment for globalization and exposure as a major tour site. Regional communities in Daegu are foreseeing economic benefits from investment, consumer spending, and tourism impacts, which will be brought about by infrastructure.
Socially speaking, as the World Championship is nearing, people will pray for its success and feel their national pride blooming with a sense of unity. And South Korea is looking to soon compete with the countries that produce the world's best by learning from them while raising the level of Korean athletic games and strengthening the sports industry through marketing.
South Korea has been known to be showing disinterest in athletics games. But the Daegu 2011 IAAF World Championship is an opportunity to change this perception. At the same time, a competition like this is more than essential to turn the whole industry around for the better. A total of 6 foreign managers and coaches joined the team to train Korean players with advanced lessons. Various support such as player development management, sports science, and medicine are being provided. And a customized training action plan for competitive players has been implemented. Additionally, for those international medalists, the reward system has been extensively set up, and the coach certification system in line with the IAAF system has been adopted. Also, the Daegu Athletics Promotion Center is scheduled to be completed by next year, and this new facility will hold many international indoor athletics games contributing to the development of South Korea's sports industry.