American Skating stars Alex and Maia Shibutani
are in Korea… ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics hosted by PyeongChang. They duo sampled a bit of Korean culture and
shared some tips of the trade. Lee Unshin helps us get better acquainted
with the game’s ambassadors. A group of students at this arts school in
eastern Seoul is performing some traditional Korean music, or gugak, for two very special
guests of honor. After the curtain comes down, it’s the guests’
turn to show their stuff as they learn a traditional number called “Jajinmori Rhythm.” “Hold the long one with your right hand.” Alex and Maia Shibutani are a two-time U.S.
national champion… ice dancing pair… and they’re in Seoul for a couple of days as sports
envoys representing the United States. The brother-sister duo is here to get acquainted
with Korean culture and offer some person-to-person diplomacy… in preparation for the PyeongChang
Winter Olympics next year. “They were so friendly and welcoming to us
and we really appreciate they took the time to teach us. “Yeah, we’re buddies now, right?” “At first I was nervous meeting them, but
they were so easy to talk to and they learned the moves so fast. I wish I’d had more time to talk with them
about Korean culture.” After the show, it was time for the duo to
try their hand in the kitchen. The pair got to prepare, and sample, some
temple cuisine… with the help of widely respected Buddhist monk and chef, Sun Jae. But for the students, the highlight of the
visit was still to come. very very delicious. “Alex and Maia got a taste of Korean culture
earlier, and now, it’s the moment this group of young skaters has been waiting for. They’re finally going to get some ice time
with these world champion siblings.” As Olympic hopefuls, the Shibutani’s passion
for their sport was infectious and their enthusiasm for next year’s Winter Games was just as palpable. “Our qualification for the Olympics happens
in January of 2018. It’s going to be really exciting. We’ve been working very hard for many years
for the Olympic games, so we can’t wait.” “The energy we experienced just now at the
test events, and the energy from Korean fans, has been fantastic, so that combined with
the joy of the Olympics, it should be very special.” It’s sure to be special for fans in Korea,
too, who will be here, waiting to cheer them on. Lee Unshin Arirang News.

Skating stars Alex & Maia Shibutani visit Korea as U.S. sports envoys
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