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Blog // Connect Michigan

Mega Events Redefine Digital Needs in South Korea

By CMI Staff

Connect Michigan’s work to develop comprehensive technology action plans in communities throughout the state; efforts to raise the awareness for and adoption of technology among small businesses; and their unique broadband research, has garnered international interest. This summer, Connect Michigan State Program Manager Eric Frederick is traveling to South Korea, Japan, China, and Malaysia to share Michigan’s lessons and stories for broadband and technology expansion with government officials, academics, and many others. This blog series provides highlights from his trip and Connect Michigan’s efforts to put the state at the forefront of the digital economy.

South Korea has played host to many major world events including the 1988 Winter Olympics in Seoul, the 1986 and 2002 Asian Games, and Expo 2012, among others. Mega-events have significant implications for their host community before, during, and following the event. Transportation, housing, sustainability, and information and communications technology are all critical considerations when planning an event on a world stage.

Connect Michigan’s Eric Frederick (2nd row left) poses with Mega-Event planning researchers and members of the Pyeongchang County government.

Monday, July 28, I joined researchers from Michigan State University, City University of New York, Universidade Federal Fluminense in Brazil, Universitat St. Gallen in Switzerland, and the University of Arizona to meet with the mayor and other representatives of PyeongChang County, the host of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. PyeongChang bid for the winter games three times, falling short for the 2010 and 2014 games, held in Vancouver, Canada and Sochi, Russia, respectively. The third winning bid has excited and invigorated the region as they prepare to host the world in five short years.



Alpensia Sports Park Ski Jumping Tower that will be the centerpiece of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

PyeongChang is a rural resort area of Korea. It is not much unlike many of the ski resort areas of northern Michigan. While the terrain in PyeongChang is steeper and more mountainous, its rural, agricultural, and tourist-driven economy is quite similar to Michigan. The region hopes to leverage the development of unique and creative applications of technology that come about to promote a virtual interactive atmosphere at the games to enhance the tourist economy both during and following the Olympics.

The region is abuzz with planning and construction for the games, and many businesses in the region see the Olympics as an opportunity to launch the region as Asia’s premier destination for winter sports.

Want to know more about our trip abroad? Check out the other posts in our blog series to learn more now!


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