The Olympics arrive next year in South Korea, and last week at Arirang Hill Fest we got a sneak preview of the spectacle. Whether it was the series of giant 3D cameras placed at each corner, transmitting the live action to a pair of Jumbotrons, or the entertainment provided by traditional dancers, drummers, singers and even a calligraphy artist during the day at the track and in the evening at the parties, South Korea raised the bar for downhill events to a truly Olympian level.

Mitch and Mauritz
Mitch and Mauritz...close, but no cigar

Day three of the event kicked off with a local group of dancers and drummers. They began their performance at the start line, and then moved down the track surrounded by all the riders - a truly memorable way to set the scene for the racing action to follow.

Dancers perform at the start line
Dancers perform at the start line

Riders from 11 countries took part in the event and experienced the culture of South Korea. At sunset each day a special show by a local artist was performed at the campsite: from local choirs to classical performers, singers, dancers, and a rock band singing the theme song of the race; every night was a unique show.

Live Calligraphy
In a first for many spectators, an artist performed calligraphy live to the music of a sensational group of drummers. On a huge canvas laid in front of the stage, he draw the race logo with a massive paint brush.

The government of Jeonseong province, the Korean Olympic Committee, and ISCA Korean Racing Federation teamed up for the first ever downhill skateboard event in South Korea, and succeeded beyond all expectations. Every international rider that attended is now home and spreading the word - this is an event that cannot be missed.

Arirang Hill after party
A set of Korean DJ’s ensured the final night's after-party went all night...a little blurry, for some.
Arirang Hill Opens Podium
Arirang Hill Opens Podium

Open Skateboard Podium

  1. Aaron Hampshire
  2. Mauritz Armfelt
  3. Mitch Thompson
Arirang Hill Womens Podium
Arirang Hill Womens Podium

Womens Skateboard Podium

  1. Kaila daSol Jung
  2. Elissa Mah
  3. Julia Barklow
Arirang Hill Juniors Podium
Arirang Hill Juniors Podium

Unfortunately Robert was not able to be on the podium due to a crash during the Open finals in the evening, we all wish him a fast healing!

Junior Skateboard Podium

  1. Taylor Cook
  2. Robert Burns
  3. Mason Shin
Arirang Hill Masters Podium
Arirang Hill Masters Podium

Masters Skateboard Podium

  1. Benjamin Hay
  2. Kim Jongjun
  3. Kim Kyunghoon
Luge Podium
Arirang Hill Luge Podium

Luge Podium

  1. Abdil Mahdzan
  2. Will Stephenson
  3. Michael "Goat" O'Keefe

Text by Carl Sambrano, Fede Barboni and Colin Beck

Mentioned riders

This post is related to Arirang Hill Fest 2017

Colin Beck

This post was written by Colin Beck

• Former Secretary, International Downhill Federation
• Founding member of ASRA (Australian Skateboard Racing Association)
• Skateboarder since 1972
• Likes visors
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