USA Hockey Magazine

February 2018

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"He has a great attitude being in a foreign country and has embraced the Korean cul- ture. His character allows him to be a good teammate. Mike's ability to play hockey at a high level excites fans." Testwuide moved to Korea in 2013 after signing an entry-level contract with the P h i l a d e l p h i a F l y e r s f o l l ow i n g a f o u r- year career at Colorado Colleg e. After three American Hockey League seasons, an NHL call-up was unlikely. An attrac- tive contract—some imports command $200,000-plus a season—made Korea a good choice. He didn't know it would lead to his child- hood dream. "Never getting into an NHL regular sea- son game was a pretty tough situation to swallow but I kept working hard and taking chances," he said. "So for me, this is the culmination of so much hard work and dedication to this game." The imports have helped Korea rise from a world ranking of 33rd to 21st, giving the hosts hope they won't be embarrassed during pool play against Canada, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. "The promotion to the top level before the Olympics has been a great accomplish- ment for the team," Paek said. "My expec- tations are that we will work extremely hard and be prepared to play." The Olympics are part of a bigger picture for Korean hockey, where the winter sport is a distant third in popularity behind speed skating and figure skating. Having a 14-year-old pro league, a stronger national program and an Olympics sparking youth interest suggests a better future. Testwuide takes pride in doing his part to grow the game in his adopted country. "Hockey in South Korea has come a long way in the four years that I have been here," he said. "Being a part of this growth and change has been very special and something that I am fortunate to be a part of. " I t h a s b e c o m e o n e o f t h e h i g h e s t - sought-after tickets for the Olympics and a growing interest is very visible. It is hard to say what the future holds for Korean hockey but a solid foundation has been built in the last few years." P Joe Paisley is a freelance writer based in Colorado Springs, Colo. "This is the culmina- tion of so much hard work and dedication to the game." – Mike Testwuide THE IMPORTANT IMPORT Mike Testwuide's determination and dedication to the sport brought him to South Korea, where he will live out his Olympic dream. 32 // 2018 OLYMPIC PREVIEW USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM

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