Play Time at the Gangneung Ice Arena and the Gangneung Hockey Centre!

When in Korea, two important sayings to remember are to have fun and be open to new experiences! Just picture a day like this in Gangneung - one of the three cities hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics! The new ice sport facilities are world-class and high-tech and what's good about the Olympics is that they have a long-term plan for the sites even after the games! Soon, the public will be able to skate here in Gangneung! 

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The city is so geared up for the Olympics and that's only a few months left!

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This is the Gangneung Ice Skating Arena and I'm so lucky that I got a sneak peek!!

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I wanted to be a figure skater at one point in my life. I would watch Michelle Kwan fly and be graceful at the same time. Haha. They will layer concrete with water to form 1cm of ice four times, paint then top it off with another 1cm in this venue and the ice won't melt for 2 weeks.. Both figure skating  (-4 degrees, softer ice) and short track (-7 to -8 degrees, harder ice) competitions will be held here on the same day so changing the condition of the ice in 3 hours is a cool feature they need to perfect for the games! 

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Today, there's another ice skating rink below where athletes can practise. And after the games, Gangneung City will have a skating rink and a swimming pool (will convert the other rink) for the public =)

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Our next stop was the PyeongChang Olympic Promotion and Experience Center. Although brief, I was able to learn a wee bit more about the difference of the 15 disciplines included in the Winter Olympics lineup, and a 4D ski jump experience!

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Here's how close PyeongChang and Gangneung cities are where the majority of the games will be held. If you like ice sports then Gangneung is the place to be. You can buy tickets for the games separately (check here). Want to watch the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and PyeongChang Paralympic Games? It's going to be held on February 9-25, 2018 and on March 9-18, 2018

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One important takeaway for me from this trip would have to be this: That taking part is more important than winning. 

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They also have this Dream Programme for educating and training aspiring athletes from countries that don't have winter like the Philippines.

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But even as spectators, we can all play a role, whether in sports or in our own disciplines, to help unite our world, work hard to give our best and just have fun in doing the things we love to do. 

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We went to the Hockey Centre next just to feel what it's like to join in that Olympic spirit.

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Security measures are being implemented even for this test event.

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Female hockey players from Team Netherlands and Team Korea were playing.  

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I was so focused in the game that I purposely put down my camera in order to follow them! Everything was happening so fast! My favorite part is the penalty booth when a player gets too rough coz they slow down.. They said the male version is much more brutal... I could only imagine watching Mighty Ducks when I was young and wonder if my heart could take it live with athletes in Olympic-mode on.

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Alas, we had to leave and grab dinner. There were food outside like Eomuk and other street food.

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Because it's almost time to go home and we're on our own - we had Korean BBQ in Gangneung with our super helpful English guide Monica

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Aside from bonding over BBQ (yey more fun!), I would highly recommend that you check out cultural performances anywhere in Korea. If you like the arts, then you might like a show by the K-Tigers (combines taekwondo and dance), Gayageum orchestra (traditional Korean zither) and my favorite The Drawing Show (Painters Hero, available in Seoul)! ;) 

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If you happen to be going next year, this Olympics will also focus on cultural activities and tourism such as Russian Day, French Day, etc. Like us, maybe this sports event can also be a cultural journey not only for athletes but for visitors as well. =)

Play Time at the Gangneung Ice Skating Arena, Gangneung Ice Hockey Centre and Cultural Experiences for Korea Tourism Night!

Jumunjin Beach Resort, Jumunjin Fish Market and Silbi Saengseon Gui Seafood Experience in Gangneung Gangwon Province near Seoul!

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