Thursday, February 02, 2006

Speaking of snow...

The Herald had an article three months ago which I planned to comment on and only now found in my files. Luckily, the article is about an event that starts this Sunday, so if I hadn't told you about my absentmindedness, you would think I was just waiting for the news to be properly topical. I will quote and paraphrase as much as I feel necessary because the Herald requires a paid membership to view it's archives.

More than 100 teenage students from 30 countries will gather in the nation’s mountainous Gangwon Province early next year to participate in a winter sports experience program, officials of the provincial government said yesterday.

The 13-day event “Dream Program” will provide young athletes, mostly from tropical countries, with a rare chance to enjoy skiing and skating and experience the wonders of Korea’s snow season, officials said.

Now, Korea does have locations with sufficient snow for a wonderful experience, however those locations seem to lack snow removal equipment or have such equipment only for the roads. It's been two days and I am already sick of sliding or splashing on glassy or slushy sidewalks.

The program is part of Pyeongchang's (and Gangwon's and Korea's) plan to improve their chance for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The program will run from Feb 5th to the 17th and there will be courses on figure staking, short track speed skating, skiing and more. Korean cultural tours and programs are also included.

Man, to simply learn to skate in two weeks will be a challenge, much less to speed figure skate. It looks like a busy two weeks for the students.

Looking at the list of countries the students will come from, I see a few surprises. Ukrainians need to visit another country to see snow? There are a few South American countries (Peru and Argintina, in particular) that would seem to have enough snow of their own, although perhaps not in February.

I see that I have been a little negative in my comments. To be honest, if the location has the snow and the cold, the experience sounds great.

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