In a press release, IMG said Kim’s mother, Park Mee-hee, and Kim’s South Korean agency AT Sports informed Orser on Aug. 2 that “he would no longer be retained to coach Kim.”
“No reason was given for the sudden and unexpected decision,” the statement read. “At the present time Kim continues to train at the Cricket Club in Toronto, Canada.”
The statement quoted Orser as saying, “I am honored to have worked with such a talented and gifted skater. I wish her all the best as she moves forward in her skating career.”
August 24, 2010
June 26, 2010
Uruguay has knocked South Korea out of the World Cup of soccer with a score of 2-1.
After being caught napping in the first half, Korea roared back in the second to equalize, but later gave up a second goal. Despite strong efforts and some very close near-goals, Korea never caught up.
June 22, 2010
As I mentioned before, South Korea’s critical game against Nigeria was at an ungodly hour.
Last night, while I was getting some pa-jeon* to go, I mentioned to the man preparing it that Korea’s game was at 3 in the morning and that I couldn’t watch it. Perhaps he misunderstood my “couldn’t” as being because I didn’t have a TV or something, because he informed me that I could go watch the game at a 2002 World Cup stadium near our area. I wonder how many people went.
I went to bed at the usual time, and a couple of times during the night, I was woken up by shouts of “Yayyy!” I looked outside my window, but only saw a couple of lit windows in a sea of darkness. So, a few Superfans were up, but most people were sleeping, at least in my neck of the woods. The area where I live is full of so-called “villa” apartments, which are only about four stories high. I wonder what was going on at the high-rise apartments, where most people choose to live these days.
In the morning, I found out, as I had guessed from the Superfans, that the Korean team had scored twice last night. Unfortunately, so had the Nigerians. However, since Argentina defeated Greece at around the same time, that means that Korea advances to the next round, along with the other final sixteen teams. Unless I am mistaken, that makes South Korea the first Asian team to make to that round while playing outside of their home turf. So congratulations are in order, I guess, but what an ugly way to go through. Pick up your game, Korea. Your defense is a sieve.
By the way, do you know who did go and watch the game live? A bunch of pop stars. Go to this link to see some K-pop eye candy decked out in the team color, red, including The Girl With The Amazing Body, Park Ga-hee of the girl group After School (see below; Hat Tip to Grand Narrative).
* a kind of omelette with green onions and other things of your choice, such as seafood; No, it’s not “Korean pizza,” despite what some might try to tell you. Pizza has bread.
I was under the impression that South Korea’s game against Nigeria would be on Wednesday at three in the afternoon, but it looks like it be at 3 a.m. in the very early morning. Oh, well. No parties, I guess.
June 21, 2010
A commentator from [North] Korean Central TV expressed disappointment when Portugal scored its first goal 29 minutes into the first half, saying, “We should have been more aware of the forwards coming from the second line.” But he was hopeful of the equalizer that never came, adding, “If we play our own style of game, we will be able to score.”
It was not to be. Portugal fairly pounded the North Korean goal in the second half to finish 7-0, leaving the North Korean commentator speechless.
But north of the border, when the scoreline widened to 4-0, the football expert with Pyongyang’s Korean Central TV stopped commentating and the broadcast ended immediately after the final whistle, monitors in Seoul said.
Considering that North Korean propaganda stresses the genetic superiority of the pure-blooded Korean people (well documented by B.R.Myers), the psychological effect of this defeat must be similar to that of Jesse Owens’ victories at the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Nazi Germany. Then again, Owens’ gold medals didn’t convince Hitler to rethink his attitudes on race, so this soccer game might not change Koreans’ views on race, either.
People whose antecedents came from the jungle were primitive, Hitler said with a shrug; their physiques were stronger than those of civilized whites and hence should be excluded from future games.
Substitute Hitler and whites with Kim Jong-il and Asians, and you’re probably looking at what’s happening in Pyongyang right now.
North Koreans in Japan cheered on the North Korean team.
“I regret it,” Mun Sun-Ryong, 26, said after witnessing the rout. “But I have to say the fact that we, Koreans, got together like this means a lot. This is our real power. Not many ethnic groups in Japan can do the same.”
[ snip ]
Up to 100,000 of them are believed to be loyal to Pyongyang.
“I realised how great Koreans are just because so many got together here for this,” Lee Nami, an 18-year-old university student, said.
“I regret the result of today’s game, but the Koreans can unite like this when the chance comes.”
South Koreans in South Korea also cheered for them.
“One Korea!” they yelled, holding tickets reading “Viva one Korea, reds run together” in reference to the red strip which both teams normally sport.
Spectators waved “unification” flags — a blue silhouette of the entire peninsula on a white background.
“I think North Korea will win and I came here to cheer for them because they’re one of us,” said Jung Jae-Sun, a woman in her forties.
[ snip ]
“I think if you cheer together, Korea will be united quicker,” she said.
Not everyone was happy at the overt show of support at the temple.
“I want North Korea to win but street cheering could be abused as propaganda to support its regime,” Park Sang-Hak, president of Fighters for Free North Korea, told the website of local newspaper the Herald Business before the game.
Some Internet users expressed reservations about cheering for the North when memories of the March sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, with the loss of 46 lives are still vivid.
[ snip ]
“You must restrain yourselves from cheering on North Korea, considering the agonised feelings of the relatives of the Cheonan victims,” one user wrote.
P.S. In my original post, when I said that I hoped that nobody would be “made to suffer because of this,” I meant “sent to the gulag,” as these unfortunate cheerleaders were.
Of all the matches to be broadcast live in North Korea, this had to be the one. I hope that none of the players, or any of their family members, are made to suffer because of this.
If, for some reason, you’d like to re-watch this merciless massacre, you could try this Naver site.
June 20, 2010
It seems that Maradona still remembers that tackle, twenty-four years later.
The game was a reminder of the group opener in Mexico City 24 years ago, with Maradona saying he clearly remembered what happened at that time and complained about Huh’s tackle hurting his thigh during that game.
Huh’s aggression toward Maradona caused the Argentinean star to writhe in pain in the game, where the South American team eased to a 3-1 win.
“He wasn’t playing football, it was more like taekwondo,” Maradona, 49, said of Huh at a press conference ahead of the match.
“I didn’t kick him intentionally,” Huh said of the incident in response. “If I had done taekwondo then I’m sure the referee would have pulled out a yellow card.
[ snip ]
The pain from the kick is gone, but the scar may still remain in his memory as Maradona linked the issue to Thursday’s game.
“If South Korea mistreats us, Messi or Higuain, it will be a yellow card and then off they go,” said the Argentinean. “We have come to play football. Anyone who doesn’t want to play football should go home.”
Thanks to An Acorn in the Dog’s Food, I discovered the interesting fact that Diego Maradona and Huh Jung-moo (the coaches of the Argentinian and South Korean teams) have met before, as players, in the 1986 World Cup. As you can see from the (cropped) picture below, Maradona got the worst end of one of their encounters, so Argentina’s 4-1 victory this past Thursday must have been sweet. (You can see the original picture at Acorn.)
June 19, 2010
Reporter Kang Shin-who, a favorite of Brian and other expatriates, does a write-up on how champion figure skater Kim Yu-na received two failing grades from Korea University. Hmmm … that sounds familiar.
(from the Korea Herald)
June 17, 2010
Argentina has just defeated South Korea 4-1.
But don’t despair, Korea fans. Keep this in mind:
Lee Yong-soo, a professor at Sejong University and commentator for KBS, said, “It’s more likely that the game against Nigeria will be Korea’s fateful match, rather than against Argentina.”
Still, I am reminded of how, when everyone was praising South Korea’s 2-0 victory over the Greeks, former coach Guus Hiddink criticized their playing, saying that they “failed to make the most of the ground” though he did praise Park Ji-sung’s goal as “beautiful.”
You might recall that North Korea gave soccer powerhouse Brazil a much harder fight than most people expected, though they ultimately lost 2-1, despite being promised gifts during visits by Kim Jong-un, the youngest son and probable heir of Kim Jong-il. Even South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was disappointed by their loss, and the North Korean media complimented the players despite not securing victory. Whew. I guess that means that their families won’t be sent to the gulags.
One of the stars of the team, Jong Tae-se, apparently wants, among other things, to have one of the Wonder Girls as a trophy.
The AP reported that although Jong was born and raised in Japan, he had decided to join the North Korean team. They also said that the forward “loves to shop, snowboard dreams of marrying Korea’s Posh Spice” and that “he collects sneakers and considers himself a bit of a fashion hound.”
The news agency also revealed Jong’s hopes for himself five years later: “driving a car worthy of a rap star, with a pop star like one of the singers from the Wonder Girls on his arm, and playing for a big-name club in Europe.”
Comparing the Wonder Girls to the Spice Girls?! The South Koreans should send him to salt mines for that blasphemy. In any case, which one would be “Posh”? It had better not be Ye-eun (“Yenny”), because she’s the only one who can really sing (see 1:20 to 1:50, below).
Bobby Lee saves the day.
Jong has referred to himself as a “lactic acid tank.” His body generates lactic acid quickly, which triggers fatigue, and compared himself humbly with Manchester United player Park Ji-sung, who is dubbed the “oxygen tank” for his stamina. He says Park is his role model.
June 12, 2010
First of all, apologies for not posting for a long time. It’s the end of the semester, and I’ve been very busy with student presentations, tests, etc. Please understand that this blog is a hobby (albeit a very enjoyable one), and my priorities are my job and students. And it’s not over yet, so the period of light posting will continue for a little while longer.
With that out of the way, the results of South Korea’s first game of the 2010 World Cup of soccer is just in: South Korea has just trounced Greece 2-to-0. Congratulations are in order.
Korea’s next game is against Argentina on Thursday, June 17th.