The adventures we have been on so far are endless, but we still have the beach town to come. Indigo Williams will share her water sport adventures and talk a bit about Samaksan (translated, Mt. Sam Ak). This was a pretty intense hike that we went on to the top of a mountain here in Korea. – Chris Lebens

Indigo Williams

On July ninth, 2014, the group and I got to experience Korean water sports. The facility to me seemed to have three main water sports, which included wake boarding, water skiing, and tubing. The day started out a little hesitant based on the fact that we were not sure if a big storm was going to hit us, or pass over us. We made an executive decision and went any ways. The entire time we were there, the weather was actually really nice and hot, until about the last hour and a half when it started to sprinkle.

Although the weather could not make up its mind, we were sure able to make up ours when it came to which water sport activity we wanted to do. At first we started out with learning the basic concept of how to either wake board or ski. It was difficult to actually grasp the concept when not in the water, especially for me because I am a hands on learner. Once we all picked either ski or wake board, we got on our boots and got into the water for a few test runs. For me personally the test run was a lot easier to stand up and actually wake board. I feel that the test run was easier because there was a bar that stuck out about two feet away from the boat and was stable. Once I was able to get up on the test bar a few times, the driver pulled in the bar and tossed me the rope. My first time trying with the rope, I was able to get up and wake board for about two seconds until I face planted into the water. I was able to keep trying for about ten or so more minutes but I was only successful about three more times.

After we all got a chance to either wake board or ski, we all asked the boat driver if we would be able to go on to the tube called a “fly fish”. The “fly fish” is a two person ride that when the boat goes fast enough the entire back side flies up and the passengers who are sitting back wards are almost horizontal to the water. This was such an adrenaline rush, which is why I think I loved it this ride more than just a round inner tube.

On July tenth, 2014, the group and I had a great opportunity to hike a mountain called Sam Ak. At first I was not exactly sure what to expect when arriving to the mountain but I was willing to try something new, especially since I have never been hiking before. Before actually going on the hike, Dr. Rhee told us that the hike would take a total hike time of four hours which in my mind didn’t sound too bad. But of course once we go to the start of the hike everyone was so eager to get started it felt like we were almost running up the mountain. Until we hit the first set of very steep stairs. The stairs only being about five or so minutes into the hike I quickly thought to myself, maybe I should just find a nearby restaurant and grab lunch. It seemed as though with in that quick second I looked up and the rest of the group was already about half way up the stairs, which left me no choice but to keep climbing. Throughout the hike, I was in the back just walking at my own pace which was only frustrating because I was getting eaten alive my mosquitos. I actually enjoyed the hike because the scenery was great, the only bad part was I was not expecting the vertical incline towards the top. But after about two and a half miles up to the top of the mountain, the view and the feeling of accomplishment made the entire hike worth it. The best part about the day was that the high temperature of today was 90 degrees with a 90 percent humidity level.

So I encourage you to get out and try something new. Once you get to where ever or whatever it maybe, just find that one bit of strength or will to keep pushing through the bad part. Even though you have 100 steep steps to climb, you may end up at the top of a five and half mile mountain and see an incredible view. What will your adventure be today readers? Until next time readers, go out and try something that excites you!

 Chris Lebens: In addition to the fun in Chuncheon, Tipton Hayes reflects on the stadium operations at the professional soccer match we attended.

Tipton Hayes

Before we left Seoul, we had the pleasure of visiting World Cup Stadium in Suwon. We received a personal tour from the Suwon Samsung Blue Wings FC. I loved their stadium. As we entered we parked next to the stadium, in one of the few 2000 parking spots. We entered what seemd as the club level. Then we took an elevator up to the teams suit, where team family and team staff stay for the game. We were greeted with this fabulous view of the venue, see pic one. We walked through the arena and as we did Mr. Lee was able to answer a few questions from myself. See pics two and three. This is a picture of the locker room at Suwon Stadium, and you can see the locker it self is not defined but the next picture is a picture inside the locker room for CentruryLink Field, you can clearly see the number and professional athlete whose game day wear is in the locker. Teams can only rent the stadium for an event, there for unlike in the states where Vulcan Inc has leased the stadium from the state of Washington, for 30 years, teams can not own venues. Interestingly the venue only has from the memorabilia of world cup events but none from the current team, due impart because of their lease agreements.

In My opinion it is not really to the benefit to either party to have this kind of agreement for the stadium. The Suwon stadium was built for the 2002 world cup and it has had limited use so the stadium currently still looks nice. The aging facility infrastructure could be a disadvantage to the team in the future since they can not change the LCD boards or add more concessions inside of the stadium. The stadium holds roughly 46,000 attendees. Unlike Seattle Sounders FC the stadium was no were near filling the stadium at capacity when we were in attendance. The lower bowl still needed to the filed, and the team can work on building their fan base. Since they have such a low number of parking spots available to the public, most people have to travel in by metro, subway, train or taxi. I was told that it was very difficult for Blue Wings to complete a transportation model with the current government, but they are working on it. Additionally the players bussed in from the practice site were they spend time with each other before a match up to three days prior. Many stadiums have their own player parking and only a few may be bussed in, besides the visiting team. This spot had a small area outside the stadium where people could gather and kids could play and families could buy team gear and play games.

During the game they have about 150 event staff to handle their fans. They also have three event managers. I saw that very few of them had a uniform. Most of the event staff were wearing orange vest with jeans and shirts of their own choice. I am very used to seeing event staff wearing a uniform from a private security company like CSC or Staff Pro. In a few cases like the Mariners and Seahawks/Sounders FC, DBA First and Goal Inc. Having a uniform for their staff. I did see a few security staff dressed up near the players entrance. I saw that there were very limited number of staff on the pitch. Even ball kids were few on the field. They did not have to worry about turf jumpers, the stadium has a good gap around the field to avert the potential jumpers from taking the field during the game. I would say the amount of staff is on point with the number of paying attendees.

This game was interesting because the supporters were in high intensity and as you can only imagine there were about 11 supporters for the visiting team, in a very empty section of the stadium. Tickets are not expensive at about $8 a game, or $100 a season. I would say that would be on par with most UCL teams.

I would that over all it was a great experience, I really enjoyed being there. The game was a tie but it was was fun to go to the pitch and take photos before the game and be with my other sport management friends. It was an experience that I would not trade. I had a great time with the team by my side, to answer any questions I had about the facility during the game.

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More to come.