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Gangwon

Winter Sports Development

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This snippet is a little inaccurate- there is not yet any official word that Korea will automatically qualify (though I'd assume they'll be there in some capacity even if the IIHF changes the match format), and Korea is not ranked 22nd in the world (though they can be placed no lower than 22nd in next year's World Hockey Championships)- but I still found it interesting that Korea will be investing in their hockey program, a sport in which they have no hope of contending for a medal. Good for them, this marks a departure from their pattern of traditionally supporting only those sports they have a shot at excelling in. I'm happy to see some Korean prospects gaining some experience in Finland 5 years before the Games.

"With Korea hosting the Winter Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang, Korea will automatically gain a berth for their ice hockey team. Currently ranked 22nd in the World, Korea would have had a tough time qualifying so they're trying to do their part to catch up

10-players from Korea's top professional team, the Anyang Halla are heading to Finland to participate in a training camp and league play there. With the Pyeongchang olympics less than 6-years away, Korea is investing in their hockey program by getting their top prospects some international experience. Finland is considered one of the World's top teams. The 10-Halla players will join the Finnish 2nd division league next season."

http://www.arirang.c...=Ne2&category=2

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Korea is also investing an other Asian nations (like Mongolia) so they get a chance to use the facilities.

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From a Finnish news site: http://yle.fi/uutiset/south_korean_hockey_team_to_join_finnish_league/6189993

So starting in 2013-2014 should give the Koreans in Finland 4 years to play in European competition before the 2018 WOG.

South Korean hockey team to join Finnish league

The second tier of Finnish ice hockey is to get a new team composed of players from South Korea.

The new side, based on players from the South Korean national team, is to play in the Mestis league from the 2013-14 season.

Some Korean players are to join an existing Mestis club as early as next season. They will play for the Kiekko Vantaa team, with the cost of their flights, accommodation and salaries met by South Korean sponsors.

The idea is to improve the South Korean national team ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which they will host in Pyeongchang.

That means they will automatically qualify to enter a team in the ice hockey tournament. The process of raising the standard of South Korean hockey is already underway, as the team was promoted to IIHF Division 1A this year, the second highest level of international ice hockey.

The South Koreans are not the first national team to try to join Mestis. Negotiations with Estonia collapsed due to the Estonian federation’s desire to play home games in Tallinn. South Korea will, on the other hand, play both home and away matches in Finland. Their home base has not yet been decided.

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http://iamkoream.com/june-issue-nhl-veteran-richard-park-hopes-to-popularize-hockey-in-korea/

Richard Park hopes to popularize hockey in Korea

Richard Park is one of only two Korean-born players to play in the National Hockey League, and during his 16-year career he has played alongside such hockey royalty as Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Sidney Crosby. Playing in more than 700 NHL regular season games, the Pittsburgh Penguins right-winger has scored over 100 goals and amassed over 100 assists.

Once he hangs up his skates, though, he has an even bigger ambition: to raise awareness of his beloved sport back in his native homeland.

“I think hockey is the best sport in the world, whether you participate or if you are a fan,” the 35-year-old Seoul native told KoreAm last month, the day after his Penguins were eliminated in the Stanley Cup playoffs by the rival Philadelphia Flyers in a thrilling back-and-forth series. “I want to help increase hockey’s exposure in Korea. I feel that the sport—the emotion involved and the tremendous skill level required—can appeal to the passion of Korean fans.”

Park himself was first introduced to hockey shortly after his family moved from Korea to Southern California’s Orange County. At age 7, Park visited a public skating session at a local ice rink, where he spotted a boy wearing hockey gear, which sparked his interest in the sport. Park, the youngest of four children, discovered an almost immediate aptitude for the game.

..........

And although Park still feels that he has several good playing years left to achieve that ultimate goal, he has a careful eye on the future, specifically the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Whether coaching the South Korea men’s national team, or simply being an ambassador for the sport, it is clear that Park wants to be involved in some way. “I feel that with my experience and the knowledge I’ve gained over the course of my playing career, I would have a lot to offer,” he says.

The Korean team finished in 23rd place at the most recent World Championships (unfortunately, its best finish ever), and they could certainly benefit from his help. Could the pairing be symbiotic for both parties?

Park, for his part, attributes a lot of his success to his Korean heritage. “As a Korean playing ice hockey, 99 percent of the time, your teammates are going to look differently than you. I never thought of that difference as a bad thing, though. If anything, it was a positive because I felt that a lot of my best traits that allowed me to stand out—having discipline and working hard—were the result of my upbringing and background.”

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Park would be 41 in Pyeongchang, which might not be a stretch to be playing hockey.

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Park is an American (represented the US in world championships before), so I'm not even sure if he is a Korean citizen, or if he is even willing to go through the requirements to become a Korean citizen at this point.

Park may just take a role behind the scenes.

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@Gangwon do you have news on other Korean winter sports besides Hockey like Biathlon or Cross-country skiing? Do you think you will see more athletes from Korea qualify for SochI?

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@Gangwon do you have news on other Korean winter sports besides Hockey like Biathlon or Cross-country skiing? Do you think you will see more athletes from Korea qualify for SochI?

Korea is investing in all winter sports leading up to 2018. They believe with the proper preparation they can make be competitive in any sport with the exception of hockey. Some sports are already seeing big improvement, like women's curling (which is poised to qualify for Sochi, if they do, becoming the first Korean curling team to play in the Olympics), and other sports are laying the foundation for future success, like naming Toby Dawson as the coach of the freestyle skiing team. They've hired foreign coaches in other sports to similarly lay the foundations for 2018 (figure skating, speed skating).

I suspect we'll see more Korean athletes in Sochi, and better performances (though not necessarily medal-contending) in more sports across the board. Who knows what happens by 2018, but I'd be happy to see more competitive placements (again not necessarily medal-contending, but top 10) in the snow and sliding sports, and good competition in the team ice sports. By 2018, I suspect Korea will be able to pull off a couple medals in non-skating sports, while losing their dominance in short track (it's just a matter of time before the world catches up).

The reason I've been focusing on hockey development {apart from personal preference) is because it's the best example of being a long-term project. No matter how hard Korea tries, they will not win a medal in Pyeongchang. They wouldn't even qualify for an Olympics through the normal process, by being a top 12 team. To even be a top 18 team by 2016/2017 would be a massive success, and will only be possible (and still no guarantee) through initiatives like joining the second tier Finnish league, like they're doing. But they're starting now, so it'll be fun to track their progress every year and see how far they get.

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Korea is investing in all winter sports leading up to 2018. They believe with the proper preparation they can make be competitive in any sport with the exception of hockey. Some sports are already seeing big improvement, like women's curling (which is poised to qualify for Sochi, if they do, becoming the first Korean curling team to play in the Olympics), and other sports are laying the foundation for future success, like naming Toby Dawson as the coach of the freestyle skiing team. They've hired foreign coaches in other sports to similarly lay the foundations for 2018 (figure skating, speed skating).

I suspect we'll see more Korean athletes in Sochi, and better performances (though not necessarily medal-contending) in more sports across the board. Who knows what happens by 2018, but I'd be happy to see more competitive placements (again not necessarily medal-contending, but top 10) in the snow and sliding sports, and good competition in the team ice sports. By 2018, I suspect Korea will be able to pull off a couple medals in non-skating sports, while losing their dominance in short track (it's just a matter of time before the world catches up).

The reason I've been focusing on hockey development {apart from personal preference) is because it's the best example of being a long-term project. No matter how hard Korea tries, they will not win a medal in Pyeongchang. They wouldn't even qualify for an Olympics through the normal process, by being a top 12 team. To even be a top 18 team by 2016/2017 would be a massive success, and will only be possible (and still no guarantee) through initiatives like joining the second tier Finnish league, like they're doing. But they're starting now, so it'll be fun to track their progress every year and see how far they get.

Top 18 would be amazing as that would match Italy before 2006.

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It begins....

http://yle.fi/uutiset/koreans_test_finnish_hockey_ice/6292664\

HC Keski-Uusimaa, which was promoted to the second-tier Mestis league this year, is based in Kerava, some 25km north of Helsinki. This season the side features four players from Seoul, South Korea: Sang Wook Kim, Woo Young Kim, Ki Sung Kim and the Calgary-born Woo Je Sung.

After some initial culture shock after they arrived a month and a half ago, the side gained four new members, the quartet have fit well into the team, where they are officially listed as try-outs so far.

“At first, they looked at us a bit suspiciously,” says defenseman Woo Young Kim. “Like, who’re they and what’re they doing here? After a few practices, though, they noticed that those Asians actually know how to play. Since then, we’ve gotten to know them better."

Eyes on 2018

Team captain Jesse Uronen admits to being a bit baffled at first.

“At first I was, like, huh? From Korea? Do they play hockey there?” he says. “But the guys have been really good on the ice, and great off the ice, too: no-nonsense, polite, completely different from Finns!”

The foursome’s arrival in Finland is tied to the 2018 Winter Olympics, which are to be staged in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Woo Je Sung explained to Yle how the transfer came about.

“Somebody from Anyang Halla, a pro team in the Asia Hockey League, called," he says. "They told me about this new project. The idea was to send the best players to Finland so they could develop for the 2018 Olympics. The team’s paying for everything: rent, a car, everything you need to live here.”

Woo Je Sung has played in junior leagues in Canada, so he serves as the interpreter for the other Korean icemen. Besides the linguistic challenges, the new arrivals have plenty of work to do before they earn regular places in the starting line-up, which also includes players born in Estonia, Sweden and the US.

Hard work adapting

“Technically they’re very skilled, but it’s been hard for them to adopt the Finnish way of playing,” Says head coach Sami Ranta. “I haven’t gotten the kind of results that I’ve tried to get so far. But all of our first-string slots are still open. At this point it looks like two of them will be in our starting line-up.”

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Good to see Korea developing its hockey team. How about the women's team?

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Interesting development: Korea';s men team has to be 18 or higher, the women 12 or higher to get automatic qualification in 2018.

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Where did you read about the women having to be top 12? Because the Korean women won't crack top 12 by 2018. They're not even top 20 right now. In fact, they were just eliminated in the 2014 preliminary tournament.

The Korean men have a better shot at making top 18, though even that will be tough. They're somewhere between 22-24 at the moment, but I could see them making a push to 19-20 within the next few years. Staying in Division 1A should be their goal for 2013.

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Where did you read about the women having to be top 12? Because the Korean women won't crack top 12 by 2018. They're not even top 20 right now. In fact, they were just eliminated in the 2014 preliminary tournament.

The Korean men have a better shot at making top 18, though even that will be tough. They're somewhere between 22-24 at the moment, but I could see them making a push to 19-20 within the next few years. Staying in Division 1A should be their goal for 2013.

It was a decision made by the IIHF meetings in Tokyo. (Page 56)

Study and analysis of Korean ranking and situation as to how it will be able to earn the right to compete at the 2018 Games. Korea will have to improve its Men’s World Ranking from the current ranking of 31 to 18 and the Women’s World Ranking from 28 to 12 for consideration of direct entry.

Edited by intoronto1125

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Korean Juniors on the Rise

SEOUL – When it comes to international hockey, progress cannot always be measured by wins and losses. The U20 Challenge Cup of Asia held in May in Seoul was a good example of a tournament in which the game results and final standings were of lesser importance than the goal of providing secondary hockey countries with the opportunity for improvement.

Even before the tournament started, it was a virtual foregone conclusion that the Russian team (consisting of players from the MHL) would have little difficulty finishing first. The least advanced team, Chinese Taipei, was a lock to finish fifth. China was likely to beat Taipei and lose to the other four teams. However, there was pre-tournament suspense over whether Korea could overtake Japan for second place, and whether the Koreans and Japanese could avoid losing to Russia by double-digit scores.

If there was any doubt that the hockey program in South Korea has made gains on the rest of the world in recent years, the U20 Asia Challenge and the 2012 World Championships Division I Group B results served as evidence of their ongoing improvement.

The Koreans and Japanese are now neck-and-neck for Asian ice hockey supremacy, and have formed a hockey rivalry worthy of their rivalries in other sports............................continued

Hmm.. not sure about Korea and Japan being neck and neck. Korea could pull off wins against Japan, but I think Japan still has the edge overall.

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Would love to see Korea qualify its first ever Olympic-qualifying curling team in Sochi

Korean, Japanese, Chinese entries evolve into curling contenders

EDMONTON - It’s far from Down Under, but a prelude to the women’s Pacific Asia curling championship (PACC) is underway at the Shamrock Curling Club.

The Korean, Japanese and Chinese entries in the Shamrock Shotgun bonspiel, which started Friday, could potentially be three of the six teams playing at Naseby, N.Z., in November.

The Korean national team, skipped by Eun Jung Kim, is a given after knocking off Ji-Sun Kim in the country’s championships in the spring.

Ji-Sun Kim tied for first place at the world women’s championship at Lethbridge in March and beat Canada’s Heather Nedohin in the Page Playoff 3-4 game before losing in semifinals and bronze-medal game (to Nedohin).

But she had no answer for Eun Jung Kim, who lost the PCAA junior final each of the last three years, in the Korean championship back home.

“I’m very proud of the girls, and I’m equally as proud of the men,” said Danny Trites, a long-time coach, official and ice-maker from Red Rapids, N.B., who recently took on a four-month contract to coach the Korean teams (Chang-Min Kim is the men’s skip).

“They are among the best teams, technically, that I’ve ever coached in 23 years,” he said. “I’d put them up against any good technical slider, like a Glenn Howard. Their sweeping is also very close to the best.” .......................... continued

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I am cheering for NZL! Nice to see \korea coming along. \the women's team if the qualify for thr worlds will be in Sochi,

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Brazil is also developing in winter sports, like Curling

curling-Brasil.jpg

We will get there!!! :P;)

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____________________________

Actually, we have (for God saking) a national team of Curling based in Canada (of course this wouldn't be based in Brazil).

Curling+Brasil3.jpg

Last official competion? First Americas Pre-Olympic Qualyfing for Vancouver (indeed, it was the first qualifying ever in Americas, since Brazil is the third country to join the sport in this HALF of the world).

Since Canada was the host of the Olympics, Brazil played with USA a "best of 5" "tournament".

Of course, USA won by landslide the first 3 matches and we made Americans (and Brazilian NOC as well) lose their time and money.

<_<

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And that's exactly why the Winter Pan American Games happened only once.

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Minor correction Dannyel it was for the World Championships not the Olympics. You can;t qualify for the Olympics unless you qualify and compete at the WC.

See its possible. China had no curling history dating back to the early 2000's and won a bronze in Vancouver. Korea's women team looks like a rising force as well.

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Both Korea and Japan have winter, cold temperatures and some "tradition" for this kind of temperature and sports...

Our nearest ice "rink" (I even don't know the name) is located thousands of Kilometers far from Brazil main cities

We are entering the Spring season with 35ºC in the shadow of the streets...

Curling in Brazil, only like that guy and ice cubes and his kitchen...

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Both Korea and Japan have winter, cold temperatures and some "tradition" for this kind of temperature and sports...

Our nearest ice "rink" (I even don't know the name) is located thousands of Kilometers far from Brazil main cities

We are entering the Spring season with 35ºC in the shadow of the streets...

Curling in Brazil, only like that guy and ice cubes and his kitchen...

China had its team training in Canada 100% of the time.

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My point is: since kids, some Chinese are used to snow, cold temperatures and winter culture...

And if they are not from a cold region of the country they can travel inside their nation to have some winter experience...

Our nearest snow spot is located South of Argentina and Chile, and considering both countries have not big tradition in winter sports, things are really difficult for Brazilians.

And, in fact, our curling team LIVES in Canada.

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