FINA Communication Department

FINA and the host celebrated today the "One-year to Go" countdown to the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, to kick-off on July 7, 2019.

The Championships, which feature all of FINA's six disciplines, will welcome the best athletes and their respective coaches and National Federations representatives for the biggest Aquatic celebration and create unforgettable moments filled with outstanding performances in the pool.

The hosts from Gwangju, the Local Organising Committee and Korea are doing their best to ensure smooth preparations and build an ideal background for elite competition in a year time. Besides the amazing venues and state-of-the art facilities, the Koreans are well-known for their hospitality and the City of Gwangju and the Korean authorities are providing their full support and mobilising all resources to create a memorable Aquatic Festival.

For the One-year-to-Go milestone, the LOC hosted today a very special ceremony gathering more than 8'000 spectators in the Chosun University Stadium including FINA President and Executive Director, members of the Organising Committee, Advisory Committee and PR ambassadors, as well as the local authorities (members of National Assembly, City Council, District Mayors), the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, Korea Swimming Federation and Gwangju Sports Council representatives.

Sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Gwangju City, Gwangju Bank and Chosun University, the celebration started with an official welcome from the President of the Organising Committee Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong sup and FINA President Julio Maglione. While Gwangju’s Mayor talked about how the 18th FINA World Championships will contribute to bring peace in the Korean Peninsula, the FINA President said:

“Our hosts from Gwangju and Korea are doing an exceptional job and I am sure that everything will be perfect for the celebration of a superb competition. Besides the amazing venues that will be at their disposal, the FINA Family will also experience the unforgettable hospitality of the Korean people. I am sure that FINA Stars will feel at home here in Gwangju.”

Following the introduction speeches, special video messages from Korean Prime Minister, Lee Nak yon and Gwangju 2019 Ambassadors Park Tae-hwan and Ahn Se-hyeon were shared with the crowd.

The Prime Minister said, “The Korean government is committed to hosting the best Championships and we are preparing every aspect of the event to the best of our abilities. The Gwangju Championships will not only offer the best facilities to the athletes, but all visitors can expect our rich Korean culture to be embedded in every aspect of the event. We are looking forward to welcoming the world to Gwangju and Korea, especially the team from North Korea who will likely attend the Championships.”

Once the official ceremony finished, a one-of-a-kind Music Concert sponsored by the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) delighted the crowd – this included unforgettable performances from over 10 K-pop groups. This big celebration sets the tone for a unique experience for both athletes and spectators during the 18th FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019.

FINA and the Organising Committee of the Gwangju Championships are working hand in hand to ensure the highest standards are reached and the daily co-operation has been fruitful so far. The outcome of this hard work will constitute a precious legacy for Gwangju and will certainly inspire the youth of Korea in the years to come.

Be ready for next year!