One World — One Ball

Jun Oh Lee: My journey to the Olympic Games from floorball

The essence of sports cannot be seen in a muscle‘s tone. It cannot be heard in a referee‘s whistle. It cannot be touched in a trophy‘s hold. Essence of sport can only be felt within. In PyeongChang, the passion of each player moved all onlookers. Through athletes‘ clean efforts and best performances, they unified the World, brought happiness to people and peace to the World. After each competition, no losers graced the court. For what they gave us, that feeling only sports can bestow, we were all winners. We all felt the same thing, despite our differences. This is what I felt during the Olympic Games. My ten years of floorball career at international level helped me to understand the true values of sports. Although, I was not an Olympic athlete, my heart for my sport and my nation was exactly the same as theirs on floorball court. This made me to put all my efforts on creating the best environment of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic for the athletes. As I major in sports, it was such an honor for me to be a part of this great event.

This great experience came from my floorball career. Each National Olympic Committee has their own development programmes for athlete. The Korea Olympic Committee(KOC) has one that provides education programmes to athletes who play sports for Korea. With my floorball career, I was selected as a global sport leader by the KOC and I was financially supported to study English abroad, in Australia and in the United states for about two years. Especially in Australia, I joined a floorball club, called Kookas, and played floorball in the Elite League in Perth. I could improve my floorball skills and learn English at the same time as I always communicated with my team mates in English. After completing the programme, I came back to Korea and started to work for the Korea Floorball Federation(KFF). I was in charge of event management and international work. After four years of working for the KFF, I decided to study for a master‘s degree in sports management in Switzerland in order to broaden my knowledge of sports and pursue my career on international level. I had to apply for the KOC scholarship in 2013 to study for the master‘s degree because I could not afford such huge admission fee. Although I failed to achieve the scholarship in 2013, I did not give up and I finally achieved the scholarship in 2014.

The AISTS, Master of Advanced Studies in Sport Administration and Technology, is a unique 15-month international postgraduate programme in sports management, endorsed by the International Olympic Committee, and located in Lausanne, Switzerland. When I first attended in the AISTS class, there were 43 students who have more than 5 years of career in sports, some of them were Olympic athletes, from 21 different countries. It was such an amazing experience for me to study with them and share experiences with them. At AISTS, I gained not only academic knowledge in sports administration, but also gained work experiences that carries a market research project, offered by the international ski federations with international friends. Also, I joined Lausanne Unihockey Club, played in the 2nd division in Swiss Floorball League, and enjoyed floorball with LUC team mates. After the graduation, I thought it would be easy to find a job with my career. However, I realized that life was not that easy. I was struggling with getting a job in Lausanne after my graduation. As I ran out of money, I made the decision to come back to Korea and build my career with the upcoming Olympics. After two failures, I finally got hired in October 2015 and my journey to the Olympic Games commenced.

My first role was to deliver successful test events in the Test Event Management Department (TEM). There were 30 test events, mostly World Cup level events, such as the FIS Ski & Snowboard World Cup and the ISU Skating World Cup, hosted before the Olympic Games. All the events were held at the same venues where the Olympic competitions had taken place. First, our team set up basic plans, objectives and strategies for the events, then we supported each Functional Area (FA). Also, one of our responsibilities was to allocate budgets to each FA based on a defined service level. At the operating phase, I was involved in marketing the FA´s and working with International Federations‘ sponsors and event agencies, such as IMG and Infront.

After completing the test events successfully, I joined Partner Service Department in Marketing office. Since then, I have been working as an account manager dealing with Olympic Partners and local sponsors. Now, my primary role is to provide contracture entitlements for the Olympic partners and local sponsors. Additionally, I support them to activate their marketing rights on various Olympic related events, ranging from 300 to 25,000 participations. My other responsibilities are providing venue tours, education programmes to sponsors and organising partner workshops for sponsors of around 100 companies.

During the Olympic Games, I felt the power of sports and the power of the Olympic Games at the heart of the event. This event cannot be compared with any other sporting event. When I prepared for the Games, I did not expect that the Games would be this big and huge. This event truly unified the World and brought happiness to people and peace to the World. As a floorball athlete and a member of the IFF athletes‘ commission, my goal now is to make floorball become an Olympic sport. Through the Olympic Games, we can show that floorball is a great sport to the World.

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