The Coolest Sport in Town

JCube goes disco for the London Olympics

Issue: Aug 2012

The Rink at JCube’s Disco Night goes all Olympics with music from the international and other sports events
The Rink at JCube’s Disco Night goes all Olympics with music from the international and other sports events

It was particularly fitting that JCube’s ice-skating rink, The Rink, hosted an Olympic-themed Disco Night to usher in one of the most watched international sporting events. After all, it is Singapore’s first and only Olympic-size ice rink. At 60 by 30 metres with a 460-seat gallery and restaurants all around for diners to watch the action on ice, The Rink, is one of the country’s coolest, new hang-out spots. Adding a fun factor to the mammoth playground, Disco Nights held on Friday nights twice every month have been organised shortly after The Rink opened in April. Each Disco Night has a different theme and between 9.45pm and 11.45pm, music from that theme is played while coloured lights flash in co-ordination.

“Disco Night is a popular concept at ice-skating rinks abroad. Naturally, when we started The Rink, we wanted to bring in this idea,” said Maggie Chua, Centre Manager of JCube. “We play upbeat music and use flashing disco lights to create the mood for the skaters.”

It’s a total sensory experience for skaters on Disco Nights as they move in sync with the themed music and coloured lights
It’s a total sensory experience for skaters on Disco Nights as they move in sync with the themed music and coloured lights

For Olympic Disco Night, theme songs from the Olympics and other iconic sports events took centrestage.

“Disco Nights are very popular at The Rink. On a normal Friday night, we can have up to 200 skaters. But on Disco Night, this number doubles,” said Chua.

“It’s the lights and the music that adds to the atmosphere,” said 25-year-old Kelvin Chua who was there with his girlfriend Maggie Ong, 21. “I come for every Disco Night on top of skating here twice a week. I love the adrenaline rush of skating.”

The ice has a special meaning for this couple who first met at the now defunct Fuji Ice Palace.

“I noticed him six years ago when I saw him ice-skating. It’s because of him that I now skate regularly,” confessed Ong.

Fun on Ice

Ice-skaters showed off their skills on the ice
Ice-skaters showed off their skills on the ice

Olympic Disco Night was a hit with the skaters. When the lights came on and the music started pumping, several were seen displaying cool moves. From high-speed rounds around The Rink to attempts at leaps and spins, it was clear that there were some veterans in the midst.

One of the most outstanding skaters that night was Al Wong whose style and skill set him apart from most.

“It is all a matter of balance,” maintained Al Wong when asked how he did it. “I have been skating for 24 years.”

He is obviously the master because several of the skaters there who knew him consider him their “shifu” (teacher).

“I’m learning how to round corners on the ice from him,” said 27-year-old Eiko Lee who started skating when he was 12.

Fashion on Ice

All dressed up for Olympic Disco Night, these skaters fitted their skates with battery-operated lights and bought gloves with lighted finger tips
All dressed up for Olympic Disco Night, these skaters fitted their skates with battery-operated lights and bought gloves with lighted finger tips

Not content with the flashing, coloured light display on the ice, some skaters came with their own light. Ice-skates fitted with battery-operated lights could be seen whizzing around the ice.

“We put the lights in on our own,” said Jason Ho. “We did ours in a hurry today, otherwise, we would have brought the controls that can be held in our hands to allow us to switch the lights on and off in time to the rhythm of the music.”

Completing the look are gloves that have lights fitted to the finger tips.

“These we got from the shop outside,” said Ho.

Family on Ice

The ice attracted both young and old. Spotted skating with his father was seven-year-old Noel Chong. It was well past bedtime but he did not mind.

“My father is teaching me to skate. I like Disco Night because it lets me stay up late,” he grinned.

60-year-old Paladin Lin was also there. Like many of the skaters there, he is a regular.

“I have been skating since the 1970s. I don’t like to sweat so I do sports that keep me cool like swimming, water polo and ice-skating,” said Lin who is so serious about skating that he has amassed seven pairs of ice-skates over the years.

Paladin Lin (in green) or Uncle B as he is known to the skaters shows off some nifty moves
Paladin Lin (in green) or Uncle B as he is known to the skaters shows off some nifty moves

The Singapore ice-skating community is a close-knit one. Many of the skaters have been meeting regularly on the ice for years and have since become friends. Lin is affectionately called “Uncle B” by all.

“We skate so often that we have become like a family,” said Ho.

The London Olympics may be the hottest event in the sporting world. But as the skaters boogie into the night, it is clear that at JCube, the Olympics is the coolest thing to hit this part of town.

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