A World Festival Hosted by Korea – 10th Asian Games Seoul 1986

Hi guys! This is Yeony. I am guessing that you all know that the World Expo will be held in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do, in Korea! During the past, many world festivals, including Expos, were hosted by Korea. Today, as the first corner to introduce these events, I will introduce the Asian Games Seoul held in 1986.

Under the theme ‘Ever Onward,’ approximately 4,800 Asian athletes from 27 nations participated in 25 sports for 16 days, from September 20, 1986 to October 5, 1986. After officially announcing its bid to stage the event in 1979, Seoul was selected as the host city in 1981 by the Asian Games Federation.


 (Opening ceremony for the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul)

A total of 33 stadiums and 54 practice facilities were made use of during the event. Twenty of the stadiums remodeled or reused existing facilities and new stadiums, including the Sports Complex in Seoul and Suwon Gymnasium, were constructed. Eighteen apartment buildings, accommodating 5,000 people, and various convenience facilities were provided as the dormitories for athletes. The main press center supported domestic and foreign media with its various amenities, and 55 broadcasting stations from approximately 30 nations participated in the Asia Broadcasting Center.

The regular sports played during the event were athletics, swimming, archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, equestrianism, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, canoeing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and sailing, which was the largest number of sports recorded in international sports history. China won first place, taking 94 gold medals, South Korea won second place, taking 93 gold medals, Japan won third place, taking 58 gold medals, and Iran (six gold medals) and India (five gold medals) followed, placing fourth and fifth place respectively.

(Sports Pin of 10th Asian Games Seoul 1986)

For records, a total of eleven world records and two world record-tying feats were established. South Korea showed a strong performance in games establishing records such as athletics, swimming, archery, and shooting, and individual sports such as boxing, taekwondo, judo, and wrestling, competing on equal terms with China, which was unlike previous events where Korea fell behind China and Japan.Koreaexhibited top performance in ball games such as football, hockey, tennis, table tennis, badminton, and handball.

(The Official Poster for the Asian Games Seoul 1986)

Although criticized partly for inadequate preparation and management, the event was evaluated to be a success overall, thus, Korea was able to overcome the dishonor of giving up the hosting rights to the 6th Asian Games in 1970. Through the 1996 Asian Games in Seoul, Korea was able to lay the foundation as a powerful nation in sports, and was able to impress the world by showing off Korea’s development and strength. The experience in hosting this event served as a foundation for the success of the 24th Summer Olympics 1988 in Seoul.

In the next corner, I will introduce the 24th Summer Olympics 1988 in Seoul.