Monday, February 15, 2010

What was that about Olympic spirit again?

Well, I'd be happy if I were Lee Hosŏk (이호석, the South Korean skater who blew the ROK team's chances of sweeping the 1500-meter men's race when he decided to sneak past his own teammate to snag the silver), I'd be happy that a new controversy is coming to eclipse his own.

That would be the South Korean women's skating coach throwing a bottle of water into the stands at someone from the Chinese team videotaping his skaters' practice despite repeated protests. From AFP:
South Korea's short-track head coach threw bottles of water at a Chinese team official as Asian rivalry in women's short-track skating boiled over at the Winter Olympics, it was claimed on Sunday.

The Chinese was filming a South Korea training session from the stands, despite repeated protests from Korean coach, Choi Guang-Bok, who was standing on the ice at the Pacific Coliseum venue, eye witnesses said.

"Stop it," "Don't do that," Choi yelled before hurling a couple of bottles which hit seats below the Chinese cameraman, they added.

The Chinese team trained next in a 50-minute session, three days before the women's competition was to begin with the 500m in which China's defending Olympic and world champion Wang Meng is a strong favourite.
I wasn't there, but that smells like bad conduct on both sides, but especially from the guy who threw the object at the other guy. My mom really drilled it into my head about everyday objects being like missiles that could poke an eye out.

Anyway, this is all an interesting side show to third-party witnesses:
The team's American assistant coach, Paul Marchese, said: "I think it's much ado about nothing. We smile and continue with our business."

"There's just a very, very strong rivalry between China and South Korea. That sort of showmanship might intimidate a lesser team, but it doesn't make a dent in China."
Can't we all just get along? Frankly, I'd rather South Koreans' be remembered for being spectators that pick up after themselves (à la at the World Cup in Germany in 2006) rather than bottle throwers.

When it comes to bad South Korean imagery, why does it always have to be bottle throwing?

1 comment:

  1. Actually it is perfectly legal (and customary) for teams to type their rivals' practice runs. Everyone does it, including the South Koreans.


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