President Yoon Suk Yeol attended the opening ceremony of the 104th National Sports Festival in the southwestern city of Mokpo on Friday, saying he will strive to develop the sports industry and enhance the welfare of athletes.
Yoon was joined by first lady Kim Keon Hee at the ceremony held at Mokpo Stadium in the city 309 kilometers south of Seoul. The annual competition, hosted this year by South Jeolla Province, will run through next Thursday, with the participation of nearly 20,000 athletes.
In congratulatory remarks, Yoon wished for the competition's success and stated his commitment to further developing the sports industry and improving the welfare of athletes.
He also vowed to ensure equal access to sports, including by underprivileged groups and the disabled, and to expand sports infrastructure in the provinces.
Prior to attending the opening ceremony, Yoon and Kim visited the Gongsaengwon orphanage in Mokpo to celebrate its 95th anniversary.
The orphanage was founded by Yoon Chi-ho, a Christian preacher, in 1928. After he went missing during the 1950-53 Korean War, his Japanese wife, Chizuko Tauchi, who later adopted the Korean name Yoon Hak-ja, raised 4,000 Korean orphans until her death at the age of 56.
President Yoon noted the love and dedication of Yoon Chi-ho and his wife, and thanked the orphanage staff for their continued work.
He also expressed his wish that the orphanage will continue to serve the less privileged and develop into a symbol of the friendship between South Korea and Japan, while reaffirming his administration's commitment to providing more generous support to the socially weak and vulnerable.
Source: Yonhap News Agency