Sunday, February 19, 2006

Two Koreans Classy in Victory (the rest of the country not)

An Hyun Su took gold in the 1000 and Lee Ho-Suk (always fun to hear American sports announcers say that one) took silver. Ohno got the bronze in a close race. How did the Korean skaters relish their victory over the most hated man in Korea?

If any hard feelings remained from 2002, they
disappeared during the bouquet presentation. Wearing a blue USA
T-shirt, a blue bandanna and a large gold chain, Ohno stepped on the
podium to receive his flowers.

Ahn then invited Lee and Ohno to share the top
spot with him. The three put their arms around each other, and Ohno
shook hands with both his rivals.

The Korean skaters' attitude towards Ohno has always been under-reported in the Korean media. Just didn't match their agenda, I suppose. Certainly the skaters were disappointed over the results in 2002, but for the most part they were complimentary about Ohno (scroll to the bottom of the post) in general and showed no hard feelings.

I couldn't find any picture of Ohno up on the podium embracing the other Korean skaters (though there is no shortage of pictures of the Korean skaters holding the Korean flag in victory). Found this one over at ESPN.

The Korean media, which went far and beyond the call of duty to stir up rage against Ohno in 2002, never hesitates to put words in the mouths of the athletes that further their agenda. The Naver site has a picture of An with the supposed 'quote' 오노를 꺾었습니다!' ,('I have defeated/crushed Ohno!') even though he never said anything like that. Here's another good picture and 'quote' showing the maturity of the Korean media. The childish gloating, just like the childish outrage of 2002, belongs solely to the people who pass themselves off as professional journalists (and the public they influence).

Ohno also showed good sportsmanship, much as he always has:

Ohno was hot on Ahn's trail in the closing laps,
with Lee in third. Lee darted out near the padded wall to get a better
angle on Ohno, cutting in on the American to take second on the
next-to-last turn.

As Ohno crossed the line third, he threw up his
hands. Known as one of the toughest skaters to pass, Ohno seemed to
say, "Oh well, he beat me."

You can find that pic and more of the race here.

No comments: