DREAM PROGRAM 2011

 

dream program 1
Dream Program 2011 participants from around the world

Here’s a little something I wrote for my Creative Writing class during my first semester in college. We had to write about our favourite place, and I chose PyeongChang, South Korea. My short essay is found at the very end of this picture-filled post! 🙂

group
Team Philippines

 

translator
Posing with our wonderful volunteer, Kim!

 

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Team Philippines

Alyssa Comia, Sabine Katigbak, and I, together with our coach, Coach Clarisse Roman, represented the Philippines for the Dream Program 2011. It was part of South Korea’s effort to win the 2018 Winter Olympic bid, which they did win.

 

koreans 1
Skated, trained, and played with some Korean figure skaters
curling
My first experience curling
friends
Roommates!

This training camp was one I would never forget. It was a fun, blissful, unparalleled experience. I am absolutely certain that I would never get tired of returning to that frosty paradise again and again and again.

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Met new friends along the way
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Met new friends along the way!
me
It was freezing cold, we had to wear layer upon layer of clothing until we got used to the weather.

FROSTY PARADISE

Along with three other athletes, I was sent to PyeongChang, Korea for a figure skating training program. There I had my first experience with snow and winter, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. In the morning, I’d graze my hand on the blanket of snow, cold and piercing, spread across the land. Because of the tranquility, I could clearly hear my feet thumping in a soft, rhythmic pattern and the wind howling like a lost dog, making me wrap my warm winter jacket tighter around myself.

When it was time for meals, I could smell the distinct spiciness of the kimchi in the bibimbap served on hot stone bowls, so different from the sweet delicacies in the Philippines. We’d train everyday after each meal, and I remember training to be ridiculously freezing, for no matter how hard I tried, I could never work out a sweat. During ice resurfacing breaks, the Zamboni rumbling away to smoothen the ice, my Singaporean and Pakistani friends and I would sneak the sweet treats prepared for us into our bags for sugar-filled midnight snacks.

On the walk back to my room at night, I’d hear the incredible sound of people chattering in different languages, the quiet in the morning replaced with this beautiful hubbub. Snowflakes would usually fall during my walk, and I’d catch them, melting on my tongue.

Though I’ve only been to Korea once, it has become my favorite spot, for there, many of my dearest memories have taken place.

snow
Yes, those little white spots in the picture are snowflakes falling!

 ~Chloe

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