Winning Gold at the Seoul Olympic Park
I’m finally making my way into Seoul more frequently now. I know, after almost 3 year…what took me so long?!
This time around I made several stops, and one was to the Seoul Olympic Park. The Seoul Olympic Park was where the 1988 Summer Olympic Games was held.
It is not crowded at all, though the roadway around the park seems popular among bikers, walkers, and families picnicking.
The main gate of the park was very massive and equally impressive to see it in person. I vaguely remember images of it on TV way back when the games were actually taking place. It’s an amazing site in person.
The stadiums built for the games are now used for other sporting events or activities. They are still impressive and a great reminder of just how big the Olympiad is. It’s also a very important cultural event and can reflect global political issues of the time.
In the case of the Seoul Games, many countries did not attend. The games held in Moscow in 1980 were actually boycotted by the United States. This action had lasting ramification on the Seoul Games, unfortunately.
Nonetheless, there were still around 145 nations involved and it turned out to be one of the more memorable games.
The Olympic Hall is a free memory lane museum that traces both the history of the Olympic Games, as well as Korea’s own involvement and successes.
Of course, one of Korea’s most successful Olympic sports is judo. This proved to be good for me as I visited this museum. Many pictures and references to judo and former champions including Korea’s first Olympic Champion, Ha Hyung Ju. He also happens to be a professor at Dong-A University which is just minutes from my apartment. They have a judo team at that university.
There were many fantastic and brilliant displays. The museum is not huge, but it is very nicely developed and offers a lot of information for the enthusiast.
For a nation as small as Korea, they do exceptionally well in Olympic sports. Especially considering the fact that sports isn’t even in there schools. A student would need to attend a specialized school or hagwon to develop their game.
The Olympic Park in Seoul is a relic of the past, and the crowd size proved this. Regardless, it is a great place to visit and recall a great event in sports from our past.
ESL, Travel, and Judo!