Attending PyeongChang 2018 - Ice Hockey & Curling

Celine and Hayun were eager to see a live Ice Hockey match for the first time

While I saw many Ice Hockey matches when I lived in Canada, it was the first time my kids saw a match in person because it's not a popular sport in Korea. They were still enthusiastic about it because they read that it involved a lot of action. We were going to see the Team Olympic Athlete from Russia and Team Slovenia play. As it would end by 7PM, the timing would give us enough time to have a quick dinner and move onto see the Curling event at 8PM.

In this Men's Ice Hockey qualifier, the Team Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) was wearing red, while Team Slovenia (SLO) wore white

Russian players had been traditionally strong, so I expected a bit of a lopsided game. It was up to Slovenia to put up some good defense. Although our seats were at the top end of the stadium, they nevertheless offered a good overall view of the game. I brought a camera with zoom lens, but I never had to take it out.

As expected, Russian fans dominated the seats, cheering loudly in both voice and action

The moment the puck entered the goal to give OAR a 4:0 lead against SLO in the 2nd period

With a large number of fans cheering on their back, the Russian athletes racked up the score with relative ease. By the middle of the 2nd period the score was at 5:0. But Slovenia would not go down without a fight.

The game ended with OAR 8:2 SLO, reflecting dominant play of the Russian players

In the end, Slovenia managed to score two goals, one each in the 2nd and 3rd period. It did not stem the tide of the Russian onslaught, but we applauded their efforts. After a quick snack we started walking towards the Gangneung Curling Centre.

As we walked from the Hockey Centre to the Curling Centre, we briefly caught a glimpse of a show being performed on the Live Site stage

The brightly lit Gangneung Curling Centre

The Curling Centre was situated at the far end of the Olympic Park, taking about 20 minutes' walk to get there. It was a good idea to have a snack instead of a full meal - otherwise we wouldn't have made it on time.

It was almost 8PM and this was the third event to attend in a day, but everyone was still pumped up

Again, I've seen a lot of Curling games during my life in Canada, but the kids haven't seen a single game before this Olympics. Thankfully, the Korean teams were doing a lot better than expected, and so they became familiar with the sport while watching the TV broadcasts.

The results of the Last Stone Draw (LSD) for the start of the Session 5 of the Men's Curling qualifiers

As fate would have it, one of the Men's Curling matches being played pitted Korea against Canada. We also had Canadian fans sitting right next to us. It was shaping up to be a fairly interesting evening. Korea would have the hammer for the 1st end, as the result of the Last Stone Draw before the beginning of the game.

The colourful visual show introduced the teams participating in the evening's Curling matches

Team Korea's efforts to secure a good position of its stone during the 1st end

Team Canada was traditionally very strong, and the Korean Men's team already lost all of the previous three matches. Despite the bleak odds, we could see that Team Korea was putting up a good show. We cheered on the best we could.

After winning a point in the 1st end, Team Korea continued to focus

But Team Canada was strong, and lead the match at 3:1 after the 3rd end

Sadly, the clock was going past 9PM and the kids were starting to get tired. It was clear that they wouldn't be able to stay up until the end of the match. We kept watching until the beginning of the 5th end, as Canada was leading at 4:2. Then we started to work our way back to the opposite side of the Olympic Park for our shuttle bus. We later found out that Korea did well, but sadly lost out by a single point.

Before heading out of the park, we took a commemorative photo with the mascot, Soohorang

Omega gave us the opportunity to form a family bobsleigh team

As we returned to the parking lot on the shuttle bus, we were filled with both fatigue and satisfaction

As we walked back, we took some final commemorative photos in the Olympic Park, eventually getting onto the shuttle bus by 9:45PM. We ended up returning to the hotel two hours later. It was a very "full" day of Olympic experience for us - something we will remember for a long time to come. No doubt we were glad see firsthand that the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was run so smoothly and successfully.


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