[Travel] Experience PyeongChang Winter Olympics Test Games

As we all know, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be held from 9th to 25th February 2018. Hence, South Korea is working hard to make sure all the preparations for the Winter Olympics is going well. Most of the venues’ renovations have been completed and now is the time to test it. Therefore,’Test Events’ was held continuously from February 2016 until April 2017.

‘Test Events’ is a platform for athletes and officials to become familiar with the location and surroundings of the venues and region. All athletes from all over the world come down to South Korea for this test event. Other than the athletes and officials, test events are also opportunities for spectators to join in and participate in the events and games.

K-popped! was lucky enough to get to experience two of the test events during the recent trip. Let’s recap what we experienced during the event.

1) ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship 2017

The Figure Skating Championship was held on 16th to 19th February 2017 at Gangneung Ice Arena. We were given the access to the location on 18th February 2017 where Figure Skating for pair events was held.

Figure skating is one of the most famous winter sports in South Korea. As they have a legendary figure skater like Kim Yuna, it is no wonder this sport always garner the attention of their netizens. Even though it was only a test event, they were a lot of fans when we reached the venue.

As a fan of this sport, personally we were amused by watching the athletes’ performances live in action. It looks hard enough to skate alone, plus the skaters need to execute some hard movements to impress the judges. Even it looks perfect to our eyes, doesn’t mean they will get a high score. Everytime the performance ended, the crowd will throw flowers and plush toys into the arena to show their support or as a signal to praise the good performance. Interesting!

The China pair was the winner, and the second and third places were won by pairs from Canada.

A little bit information about figure skating, this sport is widely known as the most artistic of the winter sports. Unique in its employment of music, the sport requires technical precision and creative ability to express the music with choreographed movements. There are four disciplines in figure skating: Men’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles, Pairs and Ice Dance. The skaters execute a short programme/short dance and free skating/free dance. The short program/short dance is skated first for 2 minutes and 40 seconds (plus or minus 10 seconds) and should contain a certain degree of prescribed elements. The free skating lasts for 4 minutes (plus or minus 10 seconds) for ladies and ice dance and 4 minutes and 30 seconds (plus or minus 10 seconds) for men and pairs. Three technical panels and nine judges evaluate the performance and give the marks. The total score of short programme and free skating will determine the final result.

2) FIS Snowboard World Cup 2016/2017

The second test game we experienced was the Snowboard World Cup which was held at Phoenix Ski Resort, Pyeongchang. More than 30 athlete participated in the Men’s Halfpipe Qualification events.

This was our first time watching this kind of competition and we were absolutely amazed by the participants’ skills. Even when everyone was fully covered, everything looks so cool to us! There were a few times when the participants failed to execute the jump and twist and fell in the middle of ramp, and the paramedics will ski down to rescue them. Exactly like in a movie scene, everyone’s wow reactions during that time was the same.

White Shaun (USA) was announced as the winner, while Josey Chase (USA) and Zhang Yiwei (CHN) took the second and third place respectively.

A little bit about this event, the Snowboard Halfpipe is an event where athletes perform jumps, rotations, and twists in the air as they glide criss-crossing a semi-circular ramp (shaped like a pipe cut in half lengthwise). The 6 judges mark the overall performance score according to the height, the rotations, the techniques, the degree of difficulty, with the full score being 100 points. It is an event in which the ranking is decided with the average of the scores of 4 judges after excluding the highest score and the lowest score. The ranking is decided with the higher score after the athletes perform twice.

Watch the short clip here :

This trip was sponsored by :

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