By WSU track athlete Indigo Williams
Today, the sport management group and I got to travel to the 1988 World Olympic Stadium. When we arrived to the stadium we were able to walk around and look at what an Olympic stadium really entailed both inside and outside. This athletics facility grabbed my attention in so many different ways that at first I was over whelmed with joy but then with a little bit of disappointment.
I personally was amazed at how big the venue was, but actually very shocked by how run down the outside looked. When looking at the pictures and statues of some of the best athletes in the world, I found myself asking one question, “why does this place look like no one cares for it?” After talking with the group we were then told that this facility does not get money from the government to help with the upkeep. One would think that this facility and the people who run it would want to show pride in the athletes who brought their country fame. I think that it is sad that these athletes’ pictures are in such bad shape and some even vandalized. I guess maybe I was just thinking that these athletes should be portrayed in more of a way that shows respect and lets younger generations know who they are and what they did. As for the inside of the stadium, now that was a little bit different, the grass was well kept and even the seating looked new. I mean I even ran a lap around the track and admired what it felt like to be running on the same track as an Olympian.
After hanging around on the track and taking some photos, the group and I went over to “The Hope Factory” which is the 1988 interactive exhibition about the Olympic values. Here we were able to go through about forty different exercises that taught us about the Olympics. This was a great experience, and I really did learn more about the prejudices and simple stereotypes that are associated with the Olympics. Some of the questions that we were asked I never really thought about before, like when they asked if “by being in a wheel chair made one of the Olympians disabled?” To me I see that person not as being a disable athlete but a contestant in the Olympics. In this factory there are many different hands on activities that linked all back to one common thing, the Olympics. Our group got the privilege to ride in a 4D simulator while watching Kim Yu-Na, who is an Olympic medalist. From there we went down the museum that held all of the different artifacts and statues made of the different all time athletes in 1988. This room was filled with a piece of something from each event in Olympics it felt like. Though the main focus was on the 1988 Olympics, this building was only a small part of the Olympic history.
From The Hope Factory, we went to an amusement park called Lotte world. I feel like I have to tell you about our adventure here because I was able to go on one of the tallest free falling drops ever, well I mean it was only seventy meters high but it felt like the tallest and longest drop ever. This ride was awesome, you get on and as you are rising to the top you are doing a complete 360 degree rotation, getting what feels like a full view of Seoul. You are up there for about five seconds and then drop going about one hundred kilometers an hour. The best part about this ride was I got to gopro the entire thing. It was awesome.
All in all I got to experience being in an Olympic facility first hand and I only have one other goal, and that would be to go to a facility when there is actually a real life Olympics going on. But I am really happy that I got this opportunity and I cannot wait to share my next activity with you guys.