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