The Swiss brand unveiled its countdown clock at a special ceremony at City Hall Plaza in Seoul, attended by IOC Member & Chair Mrs Gunilla Lindberg, the 2nd Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Mr YOO Dong-Hoon; and President of the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) Mr Hee-beom Lee.
Also in attendance were some of Korea's key political figures including the Mayor of Seoul, Mr Park Won-soon and the Gangwon Province Governor Mr Choi Moon-soon.
OMEGA President and CEO, Mr Raynald Aeschlimann, welcomed guests and spoke proudly of the brand's distinguished record of timekeeping. "We have been the Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games 27 times. In all those years we have never lost sight of our role, which is to serve the finest athletes in the world, who train so very hard to compete at this level".
IOC Member & Chair Mrs Gunilla Lindberg, called the Olympic Winter Games "a truly great moment in sporting history" and thanked OMEGA for its long service to sports timekeeping and its commitment to the development of new timekeeping technologies. "The progress has been incredible, not just over decades, but with each passing Olympic Games".
YOO Dong-Hoon, the 2nd Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism added, "The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 is being flawlessly prepared to successfully host an event that brings together culture, the economy, the environment, peace and the Olympic Games, to unite people around the world through this great festival. I hope everyone can take full advantage of this opportunity and we can enjoy PyeongChang 2018 together".
The President of POCOG Mr Hee-beom Lee said he was very excited about the approaching event. "Just one year to go, but it will go by fast, as we are working so hard to make this the best Olympic Winter Games ever".
Though the Olympic Winter Games will take place many miles from the Korean capital, the Mayor of Seoul, Mr Park Won-soon, praised the people of the city for their commitment to making the world feel welcome. "Seoul will be the first stop for those visiting Korea for the Olympic Winter Games and I know they will be left with a great impression".
Speaking on behalf of the region, Gangwon Province Governor Mr Choi Moon-soon said "The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 is coming in a year. The people of Gangwon Province and I are putting in a lot of effort to make it a good memory for the athletes and audiences from all over the world. I hope to see everyone in Gangwon Province enjoy the wonderful festival with us".
The speeches were followed by a spirited performance from a troupe of Korean drummers and dancers, while guests prepared for the unveiling of the clock. When the curtain dropped, cheers and fireworks marked the start of the 365 day countdown.
After a photo-taking session, CEO of OMEGA Timing, Mr Alain Zobrist, presented the official guests with OMEGA last-lap bells. The bells, made by hand in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Swiss mountains, are used to signal the last lap in events such as Cross Country, Biathlon, Short Track Speed Skating and Speed Skating.
Still in use alongside OMEGA’s state-of-the art timekeeping equipment, they represent a tradition unchanged for centuries.
The Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang 2018 will mark the 28th time OMEGA has served as Official Timekeeper since 1932.