By Duncan Mackay

Pyeongchang 2018 logoMay 3 - Pyeongchang 2018 today unveiled its emblem for the Winter Olympics.

Composed of the two Korean characters that represent the beginning sounds in "Pyeong" and "Chang," it symbolises the open space between the sky and earth and the snow and ice that make the Winter Games possible, explained Jong-joo Ha, one of South Korea's leading designers.

The emblem also uses the five Olympic colours and the five colours that represent the Korean spirit, called Oh-bang-saek, he added.

The colours fill up each stroke in the symbol on a background of white.

The emblem was launched in front of more than 1,000 guests, including Gunilla Lindberg, chair of the International Olympic Committtee (IOC) Coordination Commission, at a gala ceremony held simultaneously in Pyeongchang and Seoul.

"In just under five years' time, Pyeongchang 2018 will welcome athletes and spectators from around the world to celebrate in harmony at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games," said Lindberg.

"This new emblem truly reflects those values and Pyeongchang and Korea's commitment to staging truly outstanding Games that will create new horizons for winter sport and the Olympic Movement in Korea and across Asia."

Others attending the launch included Jin-sun Kim, President of Pyeongchang 2018; Jinryong Yoo, South Korea's Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Jung-haeng Kim, President of the Korean Olympic Committee; and Sang-hwa Lee, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic 500 metres speed skating gold medallist.

Pyeongchang 2018 emblem launchedThe emblem was launched at special events held simultaneously in Pyeongchang and Seoul.

"I would like to congratulate the Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee on the launch of its innovative new emblem," said Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, in a special message.

"As an athlete, part of the excitement of participating in the Games is discovering the culture and traditions of the host country, and for the Pyeongchang Games, that discovery begins today with this new identity.

"Combining elements of the Korean alphabet and oriental philosophy, this new brand will allow people to immediately connect with Korea and the 2018 Games vision of New Horizons.

"I wish Pyeongchang 2018 a great deal of success in sharing this new emblem with the world."

The new emblem will be used on all of the marketing material produced by Pyeongchang 2018. 

"Our Games preparations will certainly gain momentum in light of today's launch of the emblem," said Kim.

"I wish that all of us at Pyeongchang 2018 and residents of Gangwon Province as well as Koreans involved in sports, culture and business take the ownership of delivering one of the most successful Games in Olympic history, with the same passion and spirit that we demonstrated throughout our bid efforts."

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