The PyeongChang Winter Olympics bid team, local animation character Pororo and Filipino-born Korean actress Jasmine Lee will receive awards on Jan. 17 for improving Korea’s image overseas.
Sponsored and organized by the Corea Image Communication Institute, the annual event previously honored Incheon International Airport, the U17 women’s national soccer team, female weightlifter Jang Mi-ran, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and leading K-pop singer Rain.
This year, the PyeongChang Winter Olympics bid committee was chosen as the winner of the Korea Image Stepping Stone Award for successfully bringing the Winter Games to the country.
“The bid team delivered the ardent wish of the Korean people for the Olympics to come to Korea with a ceaseless spirit,” Choi Jung-hwa, president of the institute, said in a statement. “It also contributed enormously to improving Korea’s image overseas.”
Korea’s homegrown animated character Pororo from “Pororo the Little Penguin,” was selected the winner of the Korea Image Budding Youth Award for promoting Korean creativity and culture overseas.
Actress and activist Jasmine Lee, who appeared as a migrant woman in last year’s silver screen hit “Punch,” was selected for the Korea Image “Millstone” Award for her contribution to Korea’s multiculturalism.
“After becoming a naturalized Korean citizen, Ms. Jasmine Lee has been doing a lot of volunteer and charity work that has been a great source of inspiration and hope for many multicultural families in Korea,” said Choi. “Her life in Korea has been very much like the grinding of different kinds of grains in a millstone, harmoniously mixing her home culture with Korea’s. She contributed in making a more open and accepting image for Korea.”
The award ceremony will be held at the Grand InterContinental Seoul next Tuesday. Some 800 renowned figures in Korea’s culture scene will attend, including Culture Minister Choe Kwang-sik, veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki and Asiana Airlines CEO Yoon Young-doo.
By Claire Lee