10 August 2008

"우리 Park Tae Hwan!"















We just watched Park Tae Hwan win a gold in the 400m freestyle race, and I think our TV was about to explode. I usually tune out the commentators, but I couldn't help but notice the incessant shouting of "Uri (our) Tae Hwan!" I completely understand how it's easy to get excited over S. Korea's Olympic poster child and his washboard abs, but let's recognize the other international talent in the swimming pool. As Cyndi points out, after Park Tae Hwan won the race, the KBS commentators then went on and on about how small and young Park Tae Hwan is compared to his competitors. If fact, the women swimmers are competing as I write this, but the commentators are still speaking about Park Tae Hwan.

Oh, Motherland.
Yes, we know. "We" are an underdog. Aja. Aja. Hwaiting.

Watching the Olympics in the Motherland is quite a contrast to watching the games in the Homeland. The Motherland is noticeably Motherland-centric.

Last night at dinner, my cousin S.H. pointed out that during the opening ceremony, when an African country appeared the commentators noted how AIDS was prevalent in that particular country. Oh, Motherland.

I understand that given its history, the Motherland feels compelled to revel in small triumphs, but if it truly wants to be a player on the global stage, it needs to examine its prejudices and act with confidence, not bravado.

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This is ridiculous. In a span of 10 minutes, I've seen the Park Tae Hwan 400m race (in its entirety), three times over.

Oh, Motherland.


9 comments:

Whitey said...

The announcer screaming during the medal ceremony got to me. He needs to dial it down a bit.

Richard said...

I read today that Korea announced its 10/10 plan for the olympics. 10 golds and place in the top 10 countries in medals count...This plus I heard korea won gold in Judo...already 20% there!

Jessica said...

i got to watch "oori taehwan" here in the homeland and i must say even the NBC commentators were glowing with praise for PTH (although they did mention his little oops 4 years ago). but yes, i can see how the commentary could get a little overzealous in the motherland. anyways i really enjoy your blog!

annalog said...

It's kind of cool that PTH is getting some love back in the States as well.
Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

PTH has achieved history, being the first Korean to medal in swimming, and to have that medal be 'Gold', I could go on .........

It is something to be excited about. Now that he has a silver as well, PTH is a superstar.

The coverage in the US is bad. tape delayed, yet they keep saying live???
Irritating!!!

annalog said...

I am absolutely proud of PTH and ecstatic for the Motherland, but I do wish that the Korean commentators would tone down their fervor during the actual race. Bias is understandable and to be expected, but as a commentator aren't you supposed to at least pretend to be unbiased?

Too bad about the US coverage. Let's blame the Chinese government! :) Just kidding.

Daniel said...

It's the same way here in Japan. I've only been able to catch sports where a Japanese national is up for one of the top three medals. I've seen the same Judo match played 3 days in a row because Japan took the bronze.

Jessica said...

Hmm, I haven't had any complaints about NBC's broadcast about the olympics. True, there is a lot of tape replay, but that really can't be helped because of the time difference. Unless of course one is willing to sit up all through the night/early morning to catch live action. Also, when the fan favorite live events do happen simultaneously (aka gymnastics and swimming)it's hard for them to juggle back and forth between the indoor stadium and the water cube. I think they've been doing a great job, both in the broadcasting and the commentary.

Anonymous said...

jessica, where do u live? east or west coast?? my guess is east. The coverage on the west coast is delayed, which sucks. U can't share an Olympic moment with people on the east coast, who see the events live. You could have someone win a medal, but the people on the west coast will not be able to share that moment with other family/friends on the east coast which see it live. What's wrong with showing it 6pm instead of 9pm.
And They keep saying "live", "live", "live" .... all lies.