Hundreds of public figures, including ambassadors, CEOs and entertainers gathered here at the annual Korea Image Award ceremony to honor those who best represented Korea and its culture to the world last year.
The ceremony's highest honor, the Stepping Stone Award, was bestowed on former professional golfer Pak Se-ri .
Pak played on the LPGA Tour for nearly two decades and has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
She also served as an inspiring team coach, who helped her prodigy bring home gold from last year's Rio Olympics.
"I retired from pro golf last year, and to receive such a recognition at this point in my life, as I'm preparing for the new chapter,…I feel very thankful, humbled, and inspired."
Also recognized was Demise Hassabis, the British artificial intelligence researcher behind AlphaGo, the first computer program to beat a professional human player in the board game Go.
The historic match against renowned Korean Go player Lee Se-dol drew the attention of millions around the world, making Hassabis a deserving recipient of the "Stepping Stone Bridge Award."
And finally, the Firestone award went to Cho Tae-Kwon the chairman of traditional ceramics company Kwangjuyo.
The company has been recognized globally for promoting Korean cuisine and dining culture by harmonizing the country's food and drink with fine ceramics and traditional artwork.
Among the guests celebrating the achievements of these award winners were prominent international dignitaries who see a bright future for Korea on the world stage.
"This award obviously is a bridge, brige from Korea to the rest of the world, and from the rest of the world to Korea, in a way that spread Korean culture, and spreads Korean influence and Korean popularity to every corner of the world."
Lee Unshin, Arirang News.