Dankookian Heroes in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics

박채리, Edward Ng, 윤진현l승인2018.03.27l수정2018.03.28 16:26l360호 1면

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 The Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang would be the very first words to describe February 2018 in Korea. PyeongChang, a seemingly peaceful skiing town, turned into an international travel destination when it hosted the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and Dankook University (DKU) took this opportunity to participate in this grand event. We provided athletes for the competition, volunteer workers and even provided staff from the university hospital. These people represented not only the country, but also our university and their contributions that should not be overlooked. Therefore the Dankook Herald (DKH) would like to introduce you to just a few of these remarkable Dankookians’ (students of DKU) that made the 2018 Winter Olympic Games a success. 

 Dankookians On the Slopes

 In cross-country skiing, Kim Eun-ho (22), from the Cheonan Campus together with fellow athlete Gim So-hui (22) from the alpine ski team spoke to use about their experiences at the games.  

▲ Kim En-ho, a cross country player, from the dept. of Physical Education in DKU. (Picture presented by Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee)

 Interviewee: Kim En-ho

“The PyeongChang Winter Olympics was a starting point for me.”

 Kim participated in the cross-country skiing events, the so called marathon on the snow. Cross-country athletes have to race long distances using two methods: classic gliding and skating. Because of the length and intensity of the events, cross-country skiing athletes have to learn how to preserve their strength throughout the race. So Kim practiced regular training sessions for skiing and did interval training to boost his performance. The PyeongChang Winter Olympics was his first time skiing in the Olympic Games. Even though, he did not seem very satisfied with his results, he stated that there were many ways for him to pursue his career as an athlete. He believes that the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics was the best start for him to make the next Olympic Games and it is worth waiting for.  

▲ Gim So-hui, the alpine ski player in DKU, performed on the ski track at PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games (Picture presented by Gim So-hui)

 Interviewee: Gim So-hui

”The PyeongChang Winter Olympics was Act 2 of my life.”

 Alpine combined skiing is special skiing event. It combines ordinary ski tracks and obstacles. Like typical alpine skiing, speed is the most important, but the one difference is that athletes must work their way through obstacles along the course. Alpine combined skiing athletes need agility and endurance, so that they can concentrate on developing their stamina. Agility is especially crucial to alpine combined ski athletes and Asians often have physical features that put them at a disadvantage in this area. Gim said that she had to be physically fit to compete with other athletes, so she did a lot of workouts to build big muscles in her body and to give her strength a boost. By participating in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, she stated that she opened up phase 2 of her life. Actually, it was her first Olympics, and she’s glad she got it out of the way, but after suffering from a big injury, it was memorable, but frustrating to her at the same time. However, she knows this was not the end of her life, but instead the beginning of another stage, an Act 2.

▲ Lee Kwang-ki, a snowboard player, is DKU's proud alumnus. (Picture presented by Lee Kwang Ki's agency, All That Sports)

 Interviewee: Lee Kwang-ki

”The PyeongChang Winter Olympics was my playground”

 This Dankookian snowboarder rides his board down a half-pipe in a sport that requires five to eight in air motions performed off a slope that looks like a pipe cut in half. Therefore, the difficulty level of the motions, the height of the jump, the cleanliness of landing, and the diversity of the grabs are considered influential in grading. The air motion that Lee is most confident performing is the Frontside Fourteen Free, which requires four turns sideways. It makes up a total of 1440 degrees. In preparation for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Lee worked on developing his core abdominals and his lower body strength, which were both needed to improve his techniques. He focused on strengthening those muscles because the legs affect the landing a lot. When Lee was at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, he said he enjoyed riding for the games just like little kids do when they run around the playground all day.

▲ Lee's performance at the hipe pipe track. (Picture presented by Lee Kwang-ki's agency, All That Sports)

 He prepared for the Games with the idea that “going to the Olympics with pleasure will bring good results, rather than having pressure to be more nervous about results”. Lee stated that he was relaxed and listened to his favorite songs up until he reached the starting line. Once it was his turn to go, the music faded from his mind and he was totally focused on the moment. However, he mentioned that his highest scores always come along when he is enjoying the moment and the music, so he always makes sure to appreciate where he is and what he is doing.

 DKU Coach Starts Speed Skating Races

 If you have ever watched long track speed skating races, you might remember a starter referee calling out, “Ready” to the athletes with an impressive deep voice. Oh Yong-seok’s (Head Coach, DKU Skating Team) is the voice that Lee Sang-hwa, one of the most successful speed skating athletes in Korea, waits to hear when she stands at the start line. What makes him more remarkable is that he is the first starter referee of his generation to be in charge of the Olympic Games two times in a row, which has never happened in the history of Korean referees.

▲ Oh Yong-seok, the current coach of Dankookian skaters, is shooting starting pistol at PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. (Picture presented by Oh Yong-Seok)

 When the DKH asked what he thought was key to becoming a competent starter referee, he replied that he has never made a mistake throughout his career. Although Mr. Oh always feels the great responsibility of working for Olympic Games, an event with 200 million spectators, he never gets nervous. Anxiety, he believes, usually results in mistakes and speed skaters are largely affected even by minute changes at the start zone. Even at the PyeongChang games, he tried to envision it was like any other competition. 

 Being a part of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, the Dankookian coach defines it as a positive milestone for peace. Despite the fact that he was worried that public opinion would be suspicious of the union of North and South Korean athletes, it turned out to be a reminder that we have to strive for peace not war. 

 Dankook University as a Participant

 On March 9th, the university also awarded the Chief of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, an honorary doctorate degree in politics for his solid effort in pushing North Korea to join hand in hand with South Korea for this occasion and it resulted in the successful hosting of the Games. The university was also honored by a visit from the former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other prominent officials as they were present to congratulate Dr. Bach.

 For many years, DKU has been striving to promote the education of sports. Many sports stars graduated from our school and became outstanding athletes, who not only bring pride to the university, but also to the country. There are most likely many more to come in the future, but we just could not resist taking the time to shine the light on these the new rising stars of Dankook.


박채리, Edward Ng, 윤진현  dankookherald@gmail.com
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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