The winter sports are not the first activities that come to mind when you first picture a tropical country like Malaysia. However, the interest from the people increased since the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) introduced ice hockey, figure skating and short track speed skating in the games of 2017.
History of Winter Sports in Tropical Countries
This is not the first time that a country with little connection to winter decided to play the winter sports. A famous example can be the Jamaican bobsleigh team. This team gained international fame after their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta. This event even inspired the cult classic film ‘Cool Runnings’ . The film was released in 1993 to the public 5 years after the actual event.
Fame due to Winter Sports in Tropical Countries
Coming back to South east Asia, several people are leading the charge to compete on an international scale. Some are even trying to participate in the winter Olympics. South east Asia already has a few strong athletes and teams. These athletes have gained the ability to qualify for the high stake international competitions. For instance, Michael Christian Martinez a skater from the Philippines was the first South East Asian to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Malaysia has quite a few strong athletes of their own. In addition, the Malaysian team for Ice hockey have their eyes set on participating in this year’s winter Olympics. This country also saw a huge success, in the special winter Olympics in Austria where they managed to win 3 gold medals.
Places in Malaysia that provide Winter Sports
Although Malaysia has still a long way in the pursuit of winter sports, the journey seems worthwhile. Especially in a technological advanced age where Malaysia can offer Ice skating rinks and other areas used in winter sports. A few popular places for those wishing to try ice skating would be: The Royal Ice Skating Rink in Putrajaya, Sunway Pyramid Ice Rink, Royale Bintang Ice Skating Rink and the Icespace Ice Rink in IOI Mall. Even though these places are quite far from campus, a day trip with friends should be a great way to experience the joys these sports have to offer. Just remember to go when the rinks are not booked by athletes for training. Carry warm clothes and find out if your passion lies in ice skating. Sunway Pyramid gives student promotion on weekdays, so what are you waiting for?
Written by: Omar Khaer