The ice show that went up in flames
Korea super match 2007


By Emjo & Susanna

Pictures © Emjo


When it was announced there would be a new Super Match show in Seoul we started considering going there. When the cast was set (Evgeny Plushenko, Alexei Yagudin, Stephane Lambiel, Tomas Verner, Emanuel Sandhu, Yu-Na Kim, Miki Ando, Sarah Meier, Elene Gedevanishvili, Albena Denkova & Maxim Staviski, Marie France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon, Xue Zhen & Hongbo Zhao) it was a definite “must see” for us!
Had there ever been a better line up? We felt both thrilled and excited.

Last year our sightseeing was mainly Seoul and the west coast so this year we decided to go south and to an Island called Jeju. It is a beautiful, green and sunny island located just one hour flight from Seoul close to Seogwipo, in the south of South Korea, we spent 5 days there, seeing waterfalls, temples at Mount Sanbangsan, and sunbathing and swimming at Jungmun beach.

Coming back to Seoul the day before the first show day was perfect. We saw some skaters at the hotel, had a nice dinner and checked our reservation for the traditional music/dance performance we chosen to go to on Friday night, surprised about that?
Figure skating is not everything there is to do; we want to explore the country too…

Friday morning we had breakfast and saw Plushenko and some other skaters leave the hotel around 11 o’clock. We went up the hill Namsan with a cable car, such beautiful view and we drank nice café mochas in a café on top. Since the Korean performance started at 8 we went back to the hotel to change and get ready for the evening. When we stepped out the elevator to go to dinner some of the Korean fans met us, one was crying and stuttering
:-have you heard about the accident?
:-No we haven’t, we said. The Korean fans told us there was to be an announcement at 5 from Yu Na Kim on TV so we stayed to hear it. Oh dear.

1 There had been a fire
2 There was a big hole in the roof of the rink
3 No one was injured ………….. and the really bad one
4 all 3 shows were cancelled.

What a nightmare but nothing to do. It was a very unfortunate accident.

Canadian ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon:
- Sorry we could not skate for you. We are taking a year off from competition and doing shows this year. We are participating in Stars On Ice in both the USA and Canada.

Some Korean fan had made a very nice banner for the show. They were handling out some miniatures of them to the skaters.
Marie-France: - Who made these? They are really good…

Our comment: Plush is the only one depicted with a nose but yes it is a great banner.

Tomas Verner, Sarah Meier, Miki Ando and Elene Gedevanishvili arrived at the lobby and were soon surrounded by fans that wanted autographs and showed the skaters all the nice banners they had made for them.


Tomas Verner took a photo of his:


Miki Ando signed the t-shirts the Korean figure skating club had made especially for the show. As you can see on the picture they used again a miniature version of the banner.

Elene Gedevanishvili took a photo of banner too and signed numerous autographs.

Miki Ando and Evgeny Plushenko were interviewed by Korean TV and so were some Korean fans who informed the surprised TV team that fans had come from all over the world to see this show.

Later we went to the Korean traditional music/dance performance. Girls playing beautifully Korean string instrument and guys playing drums wildly. We especially liked some girls playing five drums each, it was like they were doing a kind of dance at the same time playing these drums, very impressive, unfortunately no photos were allowed (which is very understandable)



We spoke to Alexei Yagudin and he told us he and Evgeny Plushenko were practising when the fire started. Suddenly people (girls) started to scream ....... his comment: "that´s like normal" So they didn´t realise anything was wrong until they smelled the smoke, then they picked up their things and ran out.

He said he will do Russian shows in the spring, a tour with about 80 performances, in Russia, Helsinki, the Baltic countries, East Europe and maybe China. He also said he will be a guest skater at SOI in Japan in January, but he will not do SOI in USA and Canada. He also said he is taking acting and speaking classes to take part in a planned TV serie, with 50 up to 200 episodes.
He also stated his hip does not hurt at all anymore.

Albena Denkova, sweet as ever, she had seen the special banner and the middle part of it with her kissing her partner Maxim Staviski and said: "Never at competition but sometimes during practice."

Emanuel Sandhu came down the lobby too. Judging by the reactions in the hotel (and as we witnessed later on the street) he is very popular in Korea.
He told us that most skaters are leaving today Saturday morning but the Canadians are leaving on Sunday.


Stephane Lambiel while checking out said he was sad about the cancelled show but wanted to come back.

Evgeny Plushenko the charmer...
To the enjoyment of the very happy fans surrounding him, he opened his suitcase to search for something, an unindentified object, grimaced and said bye bye to his fellow skate friends that were heading towards the bus. He signed autographs of course, left, and then came back again to get something that he forgot in the hotel room. Perhaps the same object?

Our dear Korean friends asked what we had planned to do this day now with no show to go to …well nothing so we went to Insadong, the old part of Seul with them to have dinner. Our friends took us to a small restaurant in Insa-Dong, the food was very good and spicy and the wildfieldberry wine is sweet and delicious. They made our stay very pleasant even more worthwhile.

To our surprise Emanuel Sandhu came walking down the street in Insadong and made the Koreans and Japanese very happy, he gave them big hugs and they were all in heaven.



On Sunday we went shopping in Insa-Dong, teacups, ear rings, clothes etc, you can find everything there. We also had tea at a coffee and teahouse, there we sat looking down on the street and everybody passing. Realising it was our last day and this trip was soon to be over, so just as Alexei said to us: "see you again somewhere.... "

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