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Winter Youth Olympics: Gangwon 2024 Unveils Inaugural Metaverse Experience for Enthusiastic Fans

The organizers of the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Gangwon, South Korea, introduced a groundbreaking development on Thursday by launching the inaugural metaverse. This signifies a significant stride in leveraging digital technologies and artificial intelligence to enhance the interactive experience for global fans of sports events.

Thanks to this technological innovation, fans can now immerse themselves in the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in unprecedented ways. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in collaboration with the Gangwon 2024 Organizing Committee (YOGOC) and Gangwon-do Province, supported by the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology (MSIT) of South Korea, unveiled the metaverse, an extension of the Gangwon-do Province’s existing Metaverse.

This virtual world offers a diverse range of interactive experiences, aiming to make Gangwon 2024 as inclusive and accessible as possible, especially for young enthusiasts, as stated in the IOC's release on Thursday.

The Gangwon 2024 Metaverse introduces fans worldwide to virtual tours of the venues, engaging games and challenges where they can compete in online mini-games of ski jumping, bobsleigh, and curling. This platform transforms the way fans interact with the YOG, bringing in new and exciting dimensions.

For users in the Republic of Korea, the metaverse offers streaming of sporting events, fostering a sense of connection with the Games. It also serves as a platform for fans to connect with each other globally, encouraging them to explore winter sports and delve into the Olympic values.

To ensure accessibility, the metaverse includes automatic translation in six languages (Korean, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Chinese). Users have the flexibility to create personalized avatars for their digital experience, choosing from 30 characters with various customization options, including hairstyles, body shapes, clothing, and emotions.

Once users create their avatars, they can freely navigate the 3D virtual world, exploring digital recreations of nine YOG venues, including imaginative elements, Youth Olympic villages, and four tourist attractions in the host region.

In addition, Gangwon 2024 will feature a "Metaverse Experience" at the Gangneung Green City Experience Centre, allowing visitors to virtually engage in winter sports through simulators, graphic panels, and a virtual reality kit, according to the IOC release.


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