The Olympic Torch arrived at Yeouido Han River Park for a ceremony featuring a performance by the Lindenbaum Youth Orchestra, including our own Mr James Pickering and several of our students. As you are all aware the Winter Olympics are coming up soon. The Olympic flame has been making its way around Korea and has recently been in Seoul. On Tuesday 16 January, Sua, Ji Hyo, Ava (from Year 3 and Year 4) and Mr Pickering our Head of Music had the exciting opportunity to play at one of the performances held to celebrate the event. They were playing in Yeouido Hangang Park with the Lindenbaum Youth Orchestra in quite a large event held to celebrate the Olympic Torch’s stop in this location. It was a great concert with the Lindenbaum Orchestra playing first followed by various tradition Korean acts and some exciting K Pop Dancing, ending with a fantastic fireworks display.
Excitement is rising as we lead up to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month. Promotional films were watched at the end of the Primary School assembly last Friday and certainly whetted the appetite for the extraordinary competition that awaits. While we will be rooting for the Korean ice and speed skaters with medal chances it will be fun to follow the British team as well. It is noted by Great Britain's rivals that we only seem to do well in sports where the athlete can sit down – and if you look at the Olympic medal records in rowing, sailing, equestrian and cycling there could be something in that. Combine this with previous winter success in luge, skeleton and bobsleigh and perhaps the evidence is irrefutable!
The winter Olympics were awarded to South Korea in October 2011. Given the tensions on the peninsula of recent years who, firstly, would have thought that the Games would proceed as planned, but secondly, how gratifying it must be for the Olympic movement that this Games is providing a catalyst for peace talks and co-operation between North and South Korea. I am sure you, like we, wish for peace on the Korean peninsula. Movement towards peace always involves civilised and respectful communication where each party's desires are at least acknowledged, if not always accepted, and then negotiation can proceed. On a more personal scale we all deal with tension and disagreement in our daily lives – in the workplace, at school, in our social circles and our family lives. There are no hard and fast rules to re-building relationships but having hope that we can live together peacefully and respectfully should surely be one. It is the approach we take at school: we do not expect everyone to be best friends but we do expect that we all hope for a brighter future together, as a community. This is why we have introduced our Shared Community Values and why in this Year of Wellbeing for Dulwich College Seoul, Hope is the first value on which we are focussing with students this month.