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Foreign youths experience winter sports in S. Korea through `Dream Program` Updated: 2020-01-10 16:17:48 KST

With snow covering parts of South Korea this January, South Koreans are heading to the ski slopes to make the most of their winter.
And in PyeongChang, there's a group of special guests learning to ski for the very first time.
South Korea promised the international community in 2004,to invite students from warmer parts of the world and offer them the experience of winter sports through the 'Dream Program'.
This year, 123 teenagers from 29 countries, including 20 disabled teens, were selected.
Hailing from China, Ghana, even Argentina, the students can try their hand at one of seven winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding and ice skating.

"It was awesome because all my life I want to ski, and also it was very fun being in the snow."

"It is very fun to meet all of the people from all around the world and it's amazing to have this opportunity and to come to ski and enjoy every part of the 'Dream Program."

For some, the 'Dream Program' was a life changing moment.
Kenyan Daniel Safari, who got his first taste of snow through the program, is now a Paralympian.

"Before being in the part of the Dream Program I was just in the street and just in the Kenya. I wasn’t doing professional thing like skiing. I would like to thank all sponsors that made Dream Program to become true because our dream is coming true."

In a bid to foster more professional athletes in the years to come, the organizer of 'Dream Program' has rolled out advanced classes this year for more intensive winter sports lessons.
So far, 185 students that have taken part in the 'Dream Program' have competed as athletes in national games, such as the Youth Olympics and other international ski races.

"Before the PyeongChang Olympics, the 'Dream Program' just focused on promoting winter sports, but now we are making use of the world-class facilities here. So we have opened a new bobsleigh class and hope to produce some Olympic champions."

"Inviting more than 2 thousand participants from over 40 countries since it began 15 years ago; the ‘Dream Program’ aims to continue the legacy of the Olympics and strengthen cultural exchanges by hosting more sporting events.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News."
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