Italian national short track speed skating team comes to Korea University Ice Rink
KU Ice Rink becomes the training camp for PyeongChang Winter Olympics international skaters
British national team in November and Italian national team in January
Korea University has been and will continue to provide its ice rink to overseas national team athletes to train for the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
On November 3rd and 4th of last year, Korea University provided its ice rink as a training venue for the British Short Track Speed Skating team, whose squad included Elise Christie, the 1,500m gold medalist at the ISU Short Track World Cup in 2013. The athletes trained at the Korea University Ice Rink, allowing them to keep in shape while in Korea.
The ice rink is now being used again for the training of international athletes. Since January 29, 2018, Italian national figure skaters and short track skaters have been training at the Korea University Ice Rink.
We went to meet the Italian Short Track Speed Skating team at CJ International House at Korea University on January 30.
Q. It is a pleasure to have a chance to interview you. Could you tell our readers about yourself?
Yuri Confortola: Hi. I’m Yuri Confortola. I started short track at the age of six. The PyeongChang Olympic Games will be my fourth Olympiad, and because of age, probably my last.
Tommaso Dotti: Hi, I’m Tommaso Dotti. I’m 24 years old, and this will be my second time at the Olympics. I started skating when I was five.
Martina Valcepina: Hello, I’m Martina Valcepina. These will be my third Olympics.
Arianna Fontana: Hi there, I’m Arianna Fontana. I started skating when I was four and competed at my first Olympic Games when I was 15. These will be my fourth.
Q. It’s been very cold lately. How have you been here in Korea?
Tommaso Dotti: Right. It’d been very cold for a couple of days, especially the last 2 to 3 days, but I think the weather’s been getting better since yesterday. I was a bit embarrassed because I wasn't ready for such cold weather on my first day in Korea. I’ve been wearing a bit more and have adjusted. Now I'm ready to do my best at the Olympics.
Arianna Fontana: Right, it’s a little cold here. Back in Italy I thought it was cold, but coming here it’s really cold. But as Tommaso said, we’ve been doing our best to adapt to the weather, and now I think we are doing ok.
Q. Have you ever trained at a university ice skating rink? What are your impressions of Korea University’s rink?
Yuri Confortola: I’ve trained for Olympiads at the University of Calgary in Canada and at the University of Marquette in Michigan in the US.
Arianna Fontana: This place is really good. Usually, it’s not easy to study and exercise at university, but I think it’s great that this place is well equipped to do both two things together.
Q. How is the ice quality here at Korea University compared to other ice rinks?
Yuri Confortola: This ice rink is used by both athletes and the general public and even children, but the ice quality was so good that we did not have any problems during our practice sessions.
Q. Do share with us anything you’d like to say for the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Arianna Fontana: Whenever I go to the Olympics, I have different feelings. Now that I've prepared my best, I am motivated and believe I will succeed.
Tommaso Dotti: This is my second Olympiad. I feel less nervous than last time. As Arianna said, I feel different from the last games. This time, I’m more comfortable and would like to do my best.
Yuri Confortola: It’s really great that I can skate here in Korea. I’m giving my all in making sure that I can get the best results at these Olympics. And although skating is a competition against other people, I hope that everyone can enjoy skating because it’s a really fun sport.
From February 8th to 11th, national ice hockey players from the Czech Republic will come to the Korea University Ice Rink to polish their skills before competing at the Olympic Games.