Approaching 30 Years, Seoul 1988 Olympic Park A Shining Example

Written by and courtesy of Rafael/Domeyko Photography

As we approach the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea, the Olympic Park in Seoul, is a must see.  Built for the 1988 Summer Olympics, the grounds include a Cultural Art Park, Leisure Sports Park, Environmental Eco-Park, History Museum, Tennis Center, 3 Gymnasiums, Velodrome, Olympic Museum, SOMA Museum of Art, Sculpture Park, Olympic Center, Olympic Hall, indoor swimming complex, Handball Stadium, Fitness Center, Fitness Award Center, and plenty of places to eat, walk, lay on the grass, and take in amazing views.  Some things you’ll notice upon entering, are the amount of people frequenting the park and immaculate conditions of the grounds.  On any given day, you’ll come across skateboarding classes less than 100 meters form the Olympic flame.  The main entrance to the park is full of bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages. The park walkways are clearly marked so participants of these activities can move freely without any incidents.

Rafael/Domeyko Photograph

Current photo via Rafael/Domeyko Photograph

And if you feel like getting in some laps, stop by the Olympic Park indoor swimming pool.  The facility hosts three swimming pools;10-lane 50 meter, 5-lane 50 meter and 25 meter diving well. In addition to the pools, the facility has a weight center and offers instruction in dancing, bicycle spinning, aerobics, fencing, singing, water aerobics, synchronized swimming, pilates, swimming lessons (adult and children), provides a child care center and offers swim lanes for rent.  There are over 7000 members and each day approximately 4000 people pass through the facility.  The pool is open everyday except the second Sunday of the month.  Membership costs a little less than $10 USD.  Adult swim lessons (20 lessons) run $54-$80 per month.  If you want a private weight trainer, that costs $270 per month (12 sessions).

Mr. Pae, Ki-ch’ang, Facility Maintenance and Manager, stated the swim complex is a public-only facility and serves as a token benefit to the public.  Mr Pae added that the success of the facility is directly attributed to the highly qualified staff, instructors and dedication to customer service.  “We have the best teachers, classes and facilities.” Mr Pae should know.  He’s been there since 1989 and has a background in Taekwondo and swimming.

Mr. Pae courtesy of Rafael/Domeyko Photograph

Mr. Pae courtesy of Rafael/Domeyko Photograph

Mr. Pae welcomes everyone and enjoys seeing foreigners.  He kindly asks that you remember a swim cap (mandatory, even if you’re bald), leave electronics in the lockers, and shower before entering the pool.  A lock and key are provided at the entrance to the changing rooms.  Some other differences you may notice are that every 50 minutes there is a 10 minute break.  All swimming functions cease and participants must exit the pool.  However, if you’re on the swim team, this does not apply.  Also, swimming equipment such as buoys, paddles and snorkels are not authorized. These steps are taken to maximize the use and safety of the facility.

One more thing to note, Korea will host the 2019 FINA Swimming World Championships.

Rafael/Domeyko Photograph

Current photo via Rafael/Domeyko Photograph

Courtesy of Rafael/Domeyko Photograph.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy
5 years ago

Interesting! Seoul was the Olympics that made me really fall in love with the sport. Great to see that the pool is still there, and from the sounds of it, truly servicing the community.

Any idea why they do the 10-minute break every hour?

Eddie Rowe
Reply to  Olivier Poirier-Leroy
5 years ago

It’s a common practice to give the lifeguard staff a break.

Reply to  Olivier Poirier-Leroy
5 years ago

I noticed a lot of Asian countries require a swim cap for “open swim”, I normally always wear one but when I travelled I forgot to bring mine so I thought it was blizzare that I had to rent a swim cap for my 1 swim session.. whatever floats their boat

1 year ago

Zipheads did it right!