Fans watch Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu’s practice at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 14, 2017, two days ahead of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships opening. (Yonhap)
GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) — Ticket sales for the PyeongChang Olympic figure skating test event have been successful, the organizers here said Tuesday.
The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) said tickets for 31,900 seats were sold online for the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships as of Monday. It is the largest sale for a figure skating event held in South Korea, according to the POCOG.
In 2015, only 6,500 seats were sold when the championships were staged in Seoul.
This year’s ISU Four Continents will be contested from Thursday to Sunday at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung, a sub-host city for the Winter Games located some 230 kilometers east of Seoul. The competition will have 112 skaters from 14 countries — excluding those from Europe — who will perform in the men’s and women’s singles, pair skating and ice dancing.
It is also the first international figure skating event to be staged at Gangneung Ice Arena, the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating at the PyeongChang Games.
The ISU competition is the only one among the nine Olympic test events this month not offered for free to public. The organizers said “A” class seats — priced 30,000 won (US$26) for short programs and 50,000 won for free skating and gala events — are already sold out, although fans can still purchase “B” class and “C” class seats, which are cheaper than A class seats.
The POCOG said about 30 percent of the tickets were sold overseas.
The organizers said they’ve so far earned 630 million won through online ticket sales and the figure is expected to go up since the tickets will remain on sale until the end of the competition.
The championships will feature Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, current world No. 1 and the reigning Olympic gold medalist who holds the record score in men’s singles. He is joined by Nathan Chen, who recently won the U.S. national championship, and Patrick Chan of Canada, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist and the competition’s defending champion.
The women’s singles will have Kaetlyn Osmond, the Canadian national title holder, and Rika Hongo of Japan, the two-time bronze medalist at the Four Continents.