With the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 just around the corner, people are paying more attention to winter sports and the athletes who will be competing. GE, a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games has supported the Games with advanced infrastructure and solutions since 2005, signed a sponsorship agreement with KSA in September 2016, to provide financial and technological support for the athletes and also deliver a leadership development program for the athletes, in advance of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Although many winter sports are considered minor, skiing and snowboarding are quite popular in Korea. Despite their popularity, however, Korea has not had a medal win in skiing and snowboarding at the Olympic Games. Considering that PyeongChang 2018 is the first Olympic Games to be held in Korea since Seoul 1988, there are hopes that Korean athletes may be able to achieve better results in areas where there previously hadn’t been any medal wins.
This is a part of why GE has chosen to sponsor the Korea Ski Association (KSA). GE has a long-standing relationship with Korea. It started on March 6, 1887, when GE became the first to light an electric light bulb at the Geoncheonggung, located inside the Gyeongbok Palace where the king ruled the country. GE Korea was officially established in 1976 and since then, GE has been providing advanced technology and key infrastructures for the development of key industries in Korea. In PyeongChang 2018, GE will be provideing essential technology in Power, Healthcare and Digital. And now GE is extending the scope of its partnership with Korea–from industries to sports.
GE’s sponsorship of KSA is more than just a financial sponsorship. GE and KSA discussed how to collaborate together effectively in helping improve athletes’ performance, especially by taking advantage of GE’s expertise in leardership development and technology. Going beyond a traditional sponsorship, GE is supporting the athletes with what it can do best—not just as a game sponsor, but as a game changer.
As part of its sponsorship, GE held Sports Leadership Camp in Korea for the first time, leveraging its leadership training curriculum from GE Crotonville, for 70 national athletes and coaches from KSA on May 10, 2017. Better performance comes with having the right physical training, aided by the right technology, with the right leadership mindset.
GE customized their Crotonville leadership program for the Korean sports athletes at the Sports Leadership Camp, which mainly consisted of in-depth discussions that required active participation of athletes and coaches. With a focus on personal leadership, emotional resilience and team building, the program helped athletes and coaches gain leadership skills as they get ready to play on the world’s biggest stage.
After completing the leadership camp, Sang-Hun Lee, the head coach of the national snowboarding team at KSA, said “Athletes, not just coaches, should also have leadership because they need to be able to keep themselves grounded and continue to develop their skills. The training program enabled the entire team to become more spirited and reaffirmed the aspiration to become global sport leaders.”
GE Crotonville is reputed to be a world-renowned leadership development program, pursuing to develop new perspectives on leadership in the 21st century. By providing a customized version of it, GE is delivering a unique leadership development experience, expanding the definition of what it means to be a Worldwide Olympic Partner.
GE is also sponsoring a technology to help the athletes and coaches. GE developed a motion comparison solution that is based on GE’s industrial internet platform PREDIX, to help coaches gain insights on an athlete’s movement down the slope. This solution can be helpful for athletes in alpine skiing or snowboarding where they have to pass between poles or gates down the slope.
Korea has achieved unprecedented rapid growth to become recognized by the OECD as a developed country, but it was GE’s infrastructure technology that has been supporting Korea’s industrialization for the last 42 years as well. It is GE’s commitment to Korea that is at work behind the Games, and on the ski slopes, you’ll be able to see the results of GE’s special partnership with KSA.