Olympic Sized Fun at Seoul Olympic Park
July 2, 2010 – It’s been two years that I’ve had the Olympic Museum on my list of places to visit. When I finally took a trip out to Olympic Park this month, I was blown away by all the fun things there were to do. The best part is that the museum was completely free. The only thing we paid to do was park.
The first part of our journey was to drive across the Olympic Bridge on the way to the Park. It’s silly, but I wanted to take this route and really experience the history of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Many remnants of the games remain here in the city, and it’s wonderful to see the facilities continue to be used for so many events.
On the top of the Olympic Bridge you can see the torch that was representative of the games. I think it probably was lit up during the event. I would love to have seen that.
Once at the Park, our first stop was the Olympic Museum. Admission was free and parking was a mere 4,000 W.
We also liked the Yonggo, the Korean barrel drum, that was used to signal the start of the games on September 17, 1988.
Inside the first hall, called The Place of Peace, we learned about the history of the Olympics from Ancient Greek times through modern times. We guessed at some of the sporting events being represented by the statues in the center of the room and kids tried to copy some of the poses.
We’re studying Ancient Greece so we were especially intrigued by all of the Greek history about the Olympic Games. One of the facts we found interesting was that Ancient Greece Olympic athletes ate toast for breakfast during the Olympic festival. They trained all day long without stopping for lunch. However at dinner time, they ate massive amounts of food. The main menu for dinner was meat, and an athlete usually ate 3,600 g of meat in a meal. Today it is recommended that we consume about 200 grams of meat in a meal. It was also recorded that one athlete at 80 pieces of bread at once.
We also learned why Greek athletes competed naked and read about the tragedy of Milron who tried to demonstrate his marvelous strength by extracting a wedge lodged in a tree. Tragically, he got stuck, and when night fell, wild animals devoured him.
Another popular section of the museum was the display of Olympic mascots from all over the world. We had fun trying to guess which country was represented by each figure.
Some were obvious, like the Syd the Platypus from Australia, but others were a complete surprise, like these owls from Nagano, Japan. See if you can guess which mascots represented other countries hosting the Olympic games.
On one long wall, history and highlights from each of the Olympic games is described. You can also see the torch used at every event. They are different each time.
The upper floor has memorabilia from the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Outside, visitors can touch the spot where the ’88 Olympiads left a handprint or footprint.
Outside, the grounds are lovely, and there are wonderful places to walk and play with kids.
There is an outdoor playground in front of the museum. It’s shaded under some nice trees and there were several school groups having a picnic lunch. The Dalki cafe is also just around the corner so that’s an option for lunch too.
This wasn’t nearly the end of our totally, wonderfully fun day. There’s more to do in Olympic Park which I’ll share in a subsequent post. Stay tuned for more ideas.
To get to the Olympic Park in Seoul, take the subway to Mongchontoseong Station and use Exit 1. You will come out right in front of the large winged Olympic gate!
Seoul Olympic Museum
10:00 am to 6:00 PM
Opens on Saturdays, Sundays, Legal holidays
Closed Mondays. If Monday is a holiday, following day will be closed
Group Reservations & Inquiries