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제목 [CICI Korea] CICI honors Korea image promoters [The Korea Times 2017-01-12]
글쓴이 webmaster 조회 1645 등록일 2017.01.13

CICI honors Korea image promoters


From left are British Ambassador to Korea Charles Hay who received the CICI award on behalf of U.K.-based DeepMind's AlphaGo; Cho Tae-kwon, president of Kwangjuyo Group; golfer Pak Se-ri; and CICI President Choi Jung-wha posing with the awards at the 2017 Korea Image Awards held at the COEX InterContinental in southern Seoul, Wednesday. / Courtesy of CICI


By Yun Suh-young


Star Korean golfer Pak Se-ri, Kwangjuyo President Cho Tae-kwon and artificial intelligence (AI) AlphaGo were awarded at the Korea Image Awards by the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), Wednesday.


At an awards ceremony held at COEX InterContinental in Samseong-dong, southeastern Seoul, the CICI awarded the three recipients for promoting the image of Korea in 2016. The ceremony is held annually by the institute to recognize people or objects that have contributed to publicizing Korea and representing it well overseas. The CICI is led by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies professor Choi Jung-wha.


The top prize, the Korea Image Stepping Stone Award, went to golfer Pak, who "served as a stepping stone for Korea to reach overseas in the field of golf since her LPGA debut in 1998 and for remaining in the field as a physical and psychological mentor to the Se-ri kids as their coach after her retirement."


In his congratulatory speech, former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo said, "Pak was our star during the financial crisis. She was the first LPGA winner, and after her a number of female players have won many times. Pak played an important role in history."


Pak played on the LPGA Tour from 1998 until she retired in October 2016. She served as a coach for the Korean Olympic female golf team for the Rio Olympics. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November 2007 as "one of golf's most important pioneers."


The Stepping Stone Bridge Award went to Google DeepMind's AI AlphaGo, which won a go tournament against Korea's champion player Lee Se-dol in March 2016.


The historic and unprecedented match between a human and an AI attracted worldwide attention to the country; hence AlphaGo played a big role in gaining publicity for Seoul, according to CICI.


Meanwhile, the Korea Image Firestone Award went to Cho Tae-kwon, president of Kwangjuyo Group, which produces pottery and traditional liquor, for promoting Korean food culture with tenacity over the past three decades and inspiring global interest in Korean food. Kwangjuyo Group's two restaurants — Gaon and Bicena — received three and one Michelin stars respectively.


United States Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert made a congratulatory speech in Korean, saying "Korea has now become internationally recognized and CICI played a big role in promoting Korea's image overseas."

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