By Yoo Jee-ho

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) — The main support center for the South Korean delegation to the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics opened on Wednesday.

The Korea House, about a 15-minute drive from the athletes’ village, will be a home away from home for the country’s Olympians.

The Korea House has a restaurant serving Korean food and its kitchen staff has already been delivering lunch boxes to athletes in training.

The Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) will also hold media conferences for South Korean medalists there and will organize the Korean Night on Sunday and the Korean Athletes’ Night on Aug. 20.

The KOC has operated the Korea House in Olympic host cities since the 2004 Athens Games.

The opening ceremony was attended by Cho Young-ho, the KOC secretary general, and Lee Jeong-gwan, South Korean ambassador to Brazil, among others.

Kim Seong-jo, head of the Korea House, said the support center serves three key functions: feeding the athletes Korean food, promoting South Koreans’ Olympic accomplishments, and providing the stage for sports diplomacy by bringing together South Korean and the International Olympic Committee officials.

“We’ll do our best to make sure our athletes will feel right at home here,” Kim added.

Cho from the KOC said the time difference between Rio and Seoul and other factors have made this a challenging Olympics for South Korea, but the Korea House will help the athletes maintain their peak physical condition.

“I think this place will contribute a great deal to our goal of reaching the top 10 (in the medal race),” Cho added.

jeeho@yna.co.kr

(Featured Image: South Korean chefs prepare lunch for attendees at the opening ceremony of the Korea House in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 3, 2016. (Yonhap))

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