Activities - Field Trips

2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Preparation Experience

Gobinath Sivarajah

Sri Lanka

5th batch student


Dream to Olympics Came True Today – PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Experience

I was counting the days to be at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games since the day I was selected to the Dream Together Master Degree Program. Wow! The day had come very sooner than we thought. The ‘Dream Team’ of DTM – 5th batch students left for a three-day Winter Olympics preparation experience to PyeongChang early in the morning on 10 Jan 2018 with which was arranged by the DTM office.

 

When we arrived in PyeongChang Promotional Booth, we were welcomed by one of the International Olympic Committee staff. She opened up the day with a brief introduction of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and screened us all the winter games in a 3D wide screen. My colleagues enjoyed photo-shoot with the mascots, Olympic Torch, and Arenas as it was our very first Olympic experience to most of us. Then, we were taken to Alpensia Resort to check in a hotel, our stay there for a couple of nights. Since Alpensia Resort was one of the four major Olympic sports venues and VIP’s hotels, it was very fortunate us to learn more about the Olympic environment during our stay.

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[DTM 5th batch PyeongChang Promotional Booth in Gangneung.]

Olympics has always a combination of sports, education, and tradition and culture. So, learning about the host country’s tradition was also part of our trip. Therefore, afternoon session was planned to learn how to prepare Korean traditional food – Buckwheat Pancake. We were heading to a Korean food cooking class which has organic food items and a bakery itself. First, an instructor introduced us the ingredients to make the pancake and she demonstrated each steps. Now, the time was given to us to prepare ourselves. Everyone had enjoyed the preparation of the pancake and which tasted delicious, since then it has become my most favorite Korean food too.

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[Sigo prepares Korean Buckwheat Pancake at Korean food cooking class.]

DTM always provides us incredible opportunities which create unforgettable memories. The second day was planned to practice outdoor winter sports, snowboarding or skiing at Yongpyeong Resort. First we drove to the ski and snowboard rental shop to rent clothes, headgears and equipments. We were divided into two groups and a couple of lessons were demonstrated by instructors who taught us very basic skills to move on the very slight slide mountains. At the very beginning it was really challenging and taught us different experience as the weather was too cold, -19’c. But the beautiful mountain atmosphere and a very funny incident made us forget the weather which was experience of controlled sliding down a snow-covered slope. At the end of the day, most of us did well snowboarding or skiing after many falls.

 

PyeongChang 2018 is so called ‘IT Olympics’ as the fifth-generation wireless network which is 100 times faster than 4G, made its worldwide debut in this Olympics. When we entered into the PyeongChang ICT Experience Center, we felt that we were in another world. World‘s first 5th generation mobile communication, Convenient Internet of things, Ultra High Definition touching hearts, Smart artificial intelligence, and a fun Olympics with virtual reality were the five cutting-edges of this ICT technologies. This ICT visit gave me a different feeling, so I hope that this will make a huge different in the globe.

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[The students had the experience of wearing a virtual reality headset.]

Watching Olympic Games live from the venues is like tasting a slice of chocolate cake, rather watching on screens. DTM announced for another trip to watch Luge and Curling which was my most awaited day in my life. Since it was the very first Olympics to most of us, we were waiting with so much of excitements, fortunately, which was a medal event. Olympic Athletes from Russia and Norway had participated in that event at Gangneung Curling Centre and Norway had won the Bronze medal at the end. After the game, we were hanging around the Olympic Area where we specifically visited to a Souvenir shop, Tokyo 2020 House, Olympic Partners’ Exhibition Centers, and Spectators’ Restaurant where we had our lunch. These visits offered us a great chance to learn about the facility management in and out of the venues.

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[DTM students are ready for the Skiing Lesson at YongPyeong Resort.]

Our evening session was arranged to be in PyeongChang where we visited to Medal Plaza, opening and closing ceremonies main arena and saw some exhibitions too. Then, we got ready to watch Luge Women’s Singles Run 3 & 4 at Olympic Sliding Centre. Even there was a massive crowd and too cold, the volunteers and staff did a great job in clearing the security check-in quickly. Luge – A bullet speed game encouraged us to roar whenever the athletes passed us. Since we moved here and there to watch the games, it made us to meet and mingle with thousands of global Olympic fans in the venue. Actually it is fun to learn from them about their culture as well as share ours which is the big part of the Olympic ideals as well.

 

Overall, the games have been generally super fun and the atmosphere has also been good and getting into and out of all of the venues. I would say PyeongChang2018 is great Olympics mixed with culture, Korean hospitality, technology and scenic beauty of the atmosphere.

 

I’m sure this kind of Olympic preparation experience and games watching experience taught us many things to enhance our knowledge to be smart in organising mega events in our future career. We, 5th DTM are very fortunate and DTM provides always plenty of opportunities, but this is one of the most excited and important ones to our career.