On a chilly morning on 1 January 2011, up to 5,000 dignitaries and staff from the Daegu Metropolitan City and the Organizing Committee (LOC) for the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 marked the start of the Championships Year by hiking up Cheon-eul Mountain to welcome the first sunrise in Daegu.
Cheon-eul Mountain is located right next to the Daegu Stadium, the venue of the Championships.
“The year 2011 is a valuable opportunity to open our door and invite all guests from the world,” said Mayor Bum-Il Kim after reaching the summit of the mountain. “We must ensure a full stadium to make the most successful Championships ever.”
LOC Co-President Hae-Nyoung Cho added, “I pray that a new star from Korea will emerge from the Championships, so that Korean Athletics will blossom once again.”
There were cultural performances at the summit, including slick dancing by the Official Mascots that got the crowd buzzing with excitement. Tteokguk (Flour cake soup) was also served to keep everyone warm, on a morning when temperatures dropped to -10 degrees Celsius. It is customary to have Tteokguk on the first day of the New Year, as part of the celebrations. A bowl of Tteokguk also helps make someone wiser.
As the sun rose at 7:35 a.m., balloons were released to usher in the year 2011 and the fulfillment of prayers for the most successful organisation of the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011.