Contestants Join in Sports Challenges in Muju
By J.R. Breen
Contestants of the Mr World competition arrived at the Muju Resort, North Jeolla Province, Tuesday, where they are scheduled to take part in a number of sports challenges today.
Sports that are included are skiing, snowboarding, paint-balling, orienteering and all terrain vehicle (ATV) racing. However weather conditions may mean the cancellation of some activities.
``We are looking for a James Bond-type who can climb a mountain in the morning and cook a meal in the evening,'' said a Mr World spokesman. ``This is one element of many making up the whole package of `the world's most desirable man.'''
Mr World 2010, organized by the Miss World Organization, began officially last Friday. So far the 74 men involved have been through an endurance test ― some of them training with the Korean Marines Corps.
There will be team challenges as well as individual events, and an over-all sports champion judgd by a British military office, who will be looking for displays of physical aptitude.
The event, co-organized by The Hankook Ilbo-The Korea Times Media Group, will culminate in the televised finale on March 27 in Incheon.
For Mr Latvia Kristaps Punculis, the activities planned were an exciting prospect.
``I heard we are maybe skiing and snowboarding; I am looking forward to this because I skied for five years in my country,’’ he said. ``I am also looking forward to paint-ball because I love paint-ball. I hope the guys forgive me for the pain I will definitely cause them.’’
``Quad biking I like, I have one in my home,’’ Punculis continued. ``It is like (the organizers) read my form and picked these activities just for me.’’
Martin Martinov, the representative of Bulgaria, was also looking forward to the sports challenges, such as ATV race. ``I am very excited, I love any kind of driving and I love speed,’’ he said.
For Manuel Illich of Peru ,it will be only his second time in snow. ``I am not very good at skiing and snowboarding,’’ he said. ``But I am going to do my best, I will try everything.’’
From a country where winter sports are not common, Lwanda Kotenga of Kenya is greatly anticipating his time ahead. ``I am actually excited. Apart from the cold, it is going to be good,’’ he said. ``It is a chance to learn something new.’’
Kotenga also said that he had noticed many things he liked about Korea, compared with his home-country. ``I love their (Korean) culture. They take everything they do very seriously. (Korea) is very, very different from Kenya,’’ Kotenga said.
Before their trip south the contestants stopped in Incheon and met with Mayor Ahn Sang-soo at City Hall.
``It was nice going and meeting him; it was a nice place and a nice experience,’’ said Illich. Mr Latvia had similar feelings about the occasion, and said it was nice to meet the mayor and have a photo taken with him.
Accompanying the Mr World entourage on the trip were both 2009 Miss World Kaiene Aldorino and Miss Korea Kim Joo-ri. Miss World, who arrived in Korea on Sunday, is here as a judge.
For the contestants, who are based in the Goldensky Resort in Incheon, today is the beginning of a four-day trip around the southern half of the country. After two days at the Muju Resort they will travel south to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 936).