DAY OF HECTIC PRACTICE AND GREAT OPENING CEREMONIES
FOCUSES ATTENTION ON THE WORLD CUP
While thousands of athletes poured in to the World Leisure Games Village here on site in Chuncheon, Korea, our Riders and Skiers had a very busy day of Practice on the water. A few had flight delay problems but most were able to have some time on the calm water and settle down for the great challenge ahead on Sunday and Monday. The Preliminary Rounds for both Riders and Skiers start at 08.00hrs tomorrow, Sunday.
The first major Opening Ceremony was our own World Cup Ceremony on the very elaborate stage constructed at the edge of Lake Uiam, just in front of the large four storey glass Judges and Media Tower. Our World Cup Waterski and Wakeboard athletes from 17 Nations were guided in under their flags. Included were a fly-by of motorised Hang Gliders, Fireworks, Smoke and Water Bombs and some great theme music. All were welcomed by Mr Een-Nam Son, CEO 1st World Leisure Games & Congress, Mr Gwang Jun Lee, Mayor of the City of Chuncheon, Mr Kweon Seong dong, President of Korea Waterski and Wakeboard Association (KWWA) and Kuno Ritschard, IWWF President. Our Riders and Skiers were also invited on stage for a group photo by the large wall of Press cameras. Our World Cup was also featured in today’s National Newspapers.
Following the World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Stars of Florida performed their show stopping routine in front of our stage and this ensured that the World Cup caught most of the World Leisure Games attention all day. Our Riders and Skiers continued their Practice till dark and our Chief Judge, Nikki Lee USA, ensured that all got there allotted time on the water – except for the few whose flights were delayed.
Tonight we headed for the nearby Football Stadium for the official World Leisure Games Opening Ceremony – another spectacular event. After the speeches and regular mentions of our World Cup Stop, some mega Pop Stars from the region took over, including the Brown Eyed Girls. As we headed home, the place was still hopping !
After a fantastic start and some very generous hospitality from our KWWA hosts, our athletes are now getting some rest. We kick off at 08.00 hrs tomorrow with Wakeboard, Shortboard and Jump, in that order. More news tomorrow.