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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.
Witnessing the track being manually resurfaced after the third heat of the Men's Skeleton
An ice rink is generally resurfaced by driving a "Zamboni (ice resurfacer)" around. When I heard that the ice track was going to be resurfaced before the start of the 4th heat of the Men's Skeleton event, I wondered if a similar machine existed that went around the track. But it seems that the technology has not progressed that far yet - a group of men with hot air blower and brooms were sweeping and smoothing the track from the start to the finish. It was the one interesting moment in the otherwise uneventful 45-minute break before the final run that would determine the medalists.
4th heat snapshots - Yun Sungbin (top, gold medal) and Kim Jisoo (bottom, 6th place)
Starting at 11:15AM, the top 20 racers participated in their 4th heat in the ascending rank order. Korea's Kim Jisoo was lined up to be the 15th to run, while the already-dominant Yun Sungbin would race the last. As the racers went past the finish line one by one, the excitement grew. With the cheering crowd, Kim Jisoo put up a respectable performance and held onto his relative position. And on the final race of the event Yun Sungbin amazed everyone with a flawless, untouchable run. He was ahead of the 2nd place by a total of 1.63 seconds, which was massive considering Martins Dukurs lost out on a medal by a mere 0.11 seconds.
The whole place went wild, and we were elated to be witnessing such a historical event up close. It was the first time an Asian athlete won medal a sledding event in Olympics. Who would have thought that the colour of that medal would be gold, and that it would be won in such a dominant manner?
With about 100 minutes left to walk around Fukuoka, I decided to visit the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden next to the zoo, then work my way back to the port by the shortest route through Tenjin. At this point, I could almost walk around Fukuoka without a map and not get lost.Continue reading "Fukuoka again (2/2): Garden, buildings, and the final return"
Next to the zoo entrance are the long, steep steps to the Fukuoka City Botanical Garden, which made me wonder how I'm supposed to bring kids there in the future
At the end of the steps you still have to walk some more, but it looks like the hill does offer some nice picnic spots for the locals