• Mark

More Olympics – Men’s Hockey

Updated: Apr 8, 2018

We’re still backlogged on documenting the remaining events that we went to a the Olympics. On Tuesday we had a qualifying match for entry into hockey’s round of 8 finals, and luckily enough it turned out that the American team had made it through and were going to be playing Slovakia. We got up early so that we could grab the 8am train all the way to Gangneung, which is about 30 minutes past Jinbu and the Pyeongchang area, since the game time was at noon.

Once into Gangneung it’s a short walk up and over a hill to get to the entrance to the Olympic area – this area contains a hockey arena, a skating area, and the curling center.

Just outside of the entry is a Canadian Olympic center, of course we had to stop a pay them a visit. Turns out the center didn’t open until 11, so we had about a 30 minute wait that we passed by talking to the Canadian volunteers who talked about what they had done, about the Canadian items for sale inside – including Canadian beer – and the fact that from 3-4 in the afternoon they offer up free poutine.

Eleven o’clock rolls around and we go to enter to find out that you needed to register online first, you can wait through a line to register and see if there is space available, there’s a $25 entry fee, and a lot of the Canadian Olympic gear is sold out. We’ll skip heading inside this one, eh?

So then it’s into the ticketed area, from there it’s a large complex with a giant Olympic store that we managed to get into before there was a huge line – we had trouble getting out as apparently the only exit consisted of waiting in the checkout line and we had decided against purchasing anything. A lot of items, clothing wise, were sold out or only remained in small of extra small sizes.

There were other vendor shops setup, a McDonald’s with a 30 minute wait, a North Face shop that did have the sizes of sweatshirts that the Olympic store was sold out of, a showcase for Tokyo where the 2020 summer Olympics will be, so we meandered around in what was a nice sunny day before we headed into the arena for the hockey match.

Turns out that we had amazing seats, right on the blue line, 8th row up, and across from the player’s benches – this means that those of you who looked for us on TV wouldn’t see us since we were sitting directly below the bank of cameras, but we did get to have a great up-close view to enjoy the match.

It was a good game, close early on but with the Americans pulling ahead and eventually making it seem like a blowout.

Afterwards we wandered around the Olympic area some more, the lines for the superstore were at least an hour long at this point, and then left to head back down towards the train station. We had about 2 hours to kill, so we had some local food at a food vendor location set up nearby for the Olympic tourists, visited a 5G showcase center where people we trying on virtual reality headsets and interacting with TV and just being amazed at some of the new technology items that are working on developing. They had a smart belt that was like an improved fitbit, measuring steps, pulse, and the like but also beeping if you’ve been sitting to long and measuring strain to tell you when to stop eating.

Eventually we were back on the train and then back into Seoul around 7 that evening, perfect for providing time for us to find a small local restaurant for a Korean bibimbap meal before heading to bed.

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