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S. Korean companies sponsor minor winter sports events

2017/09/30 09:00

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- Major South Korean companies are sponsoring national teams in minor winter sports events for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in order to foster the next generation of global athletes, officials from the businesses involved said Saturday.

The Northeast Asian country has grabbed the most medals in ice events at past Winter Olympics, including short track, speed skating and figure skating, but it is eyeing stronger performances in sliding events early next year with increased support from major companies and with its athletes competing on home turf.

LG Electronics Inc. said it has been sponsoring both the male and female ice hockey teams since July.

Athletes of the South Korean national hockey team pose in this picture provided by LG Electronics, sponsor of winter sports events, on Aug. 21, 2017. (Yonhap) Athletes of the South Korean national hockey team pose in this picture provided by LG Electronics, sponsor of winter sports events, on Aug. 21, 2017. (Yonhap)

South Korea's No. 2 tech company said it is also funding overseas training costs and equipment for the Korean skeleton team to improve their performance.

Lotte Group, South Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate, said it has been supporting the national ski team in a plan to invest 10 billion won (US$ 8.7 million) by 2020 to cultivate new talents. The retail conglomerate's chief Shin Dong-bin has led the Korea Ski Association since 2014.

South Korea won four gold medals in skiing at the Sapporo Asian Winter Games earlier this year, its best performance at the Winter Asiad yet.

Coca-Cola Beverage Co. hired Won Yun-jong and Seo Young-woo, the two-man bobsleigh team, in April as models for Powerade, the official sports drink of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Hyundai Motor Company has been supporting the bobsleigh since 2014, providing equipment made at its research institute.

The automaker produced its first bobsleigh in 2015 and has upgraded the equipment to minimize air resistance and improve resilience for better cornering and faster speed.

CJ Cheiljedang Corp. a major Korean food company, is supporting the national snowboard team and telecommunications company KT Corp., the official sponsor of the PyeongChang Olympics, has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Korea Luge Federation.

ejkim@yna.co.kr

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