Blog: The 10 most inspiring Olympics moments for me

1: From left to right, USA’s J.R. Celski, Simon Cho, Jordan Malone, and Apolo Anton Ohno, react after winning the bronze medal for the men’s 5000m relay short track skating competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Feb. 26. (Photo by Ivan Sekretarev/AP). 2: Yu-Na Kim with her gold medal at the Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia. 3: Mirai Nagasu during the medals ceremony at the 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. She won the bronze medal at this competition. (Photo by David. W. Carmichael)

1. This year, we will remember short track speed skater Apollo Ohno earning his eighth Olympic medal, setting a new record for the United States for the Winter Olympics.

2. It is truly an American image when three out of the four U.S. relay speed skaters who won the bronze medal are Asians, which includes Ohno, J.R. Celski, and Simon Cho. This will inspire our young people to pick up more winter sports.

3. You probably disagreed when Ohno was disqualified in the 5,000-meter race. Notice that Ohno was not bitter. He moved forward, lived in the moment of being in the Olympics, and enjoyed his overall success.

4. At least one parent of Ohno (Japanese), Cho (Korean), and Celski (Filipino) are immigrants. For immigrant parents, raising U.S.-born kids is hard enough, but for them to raise extraordinary Olympians is definitely a fulfillment of the American Dream.

5. This is also a triumph in mentorship. Celski and Cho looked up to Ohno as their role model. When Celski and Cho were kids, they remembered Ohno receiving Olympic medals. The lesson for us is that we should mentor each other more to build strength.

6. Coaches without borders enhance excellence. Several Canadian and European coaches taught the Chinese athletes, among others, at the Olympics. This will raise the standards, hopes, and dreams of many disadvantaged athletes from disadvantaged nations, who usually don’t share the Olympic glory.

7. Athletes without borders provide freedom for a Japanese American youth to represent Georgia and Japan in the Olympics figure skating. Allison Reed, whose father is American and mother is Japanese, was partnered with Georgian skater Otar Japaridze. Reed’s brother and sister, Chris and Cathy, were a figure skating team competing for Japan. That’s wonderful.

8. I thought about the pressure on Yu-Na Kim’s shoulder before she skated. Her whole country, Korea, relied on her to beat Japan and other countries. She knew that if she lost, she would be abandoned forever in her home country. Yet, you could not detect any signs of stress or tension on her face during her performance. She carried on her shoulders 35 years of grief, pain, and hatred toward Japan.

9. Images of perfection, artistry, and beauty were expressed in Yu-Na Kim’s figure skating championship performance.

10. U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu had to skate right after Kim’s record-breaking score. Imagine the emotions and challenges she faced — knowing that there would be no chance for her to win. Yet, she was not discouraged, and performed her best ever. She was in fourth place. ♦

7 Responses to “Blog: The 10 most inspiring Olympics moments for me”

  1. Ken says:

    Post-Olympics: Here’s a shout-out to Mirai Nagasu, currently #1 at the World’s after the women’s short program. Ahead of Yu-na, ahead of Asada — You GO GIRL!!

    • Rob Smith says:

      “She said she was able to perform so magnificently because she went into the games knowing that the Korean people would be supportive of her regardless of the color of her medal.”

  2. Susan Kim says:

    Another case of media bias which stems from not doing their homework and over exaggerating one false report. They took a sentence from Yuna Kim’s essay, which wrote that she was afraid that everyone around her, and the whole nation would turn their back against her if she lost. This was HER fear alone, and her private thoughts. The entire nation was telling her to enjoy the Olympic moment and that although we would all root for her to win gold as she deserves it, we would be proud of her evenif she didn’t win. That was the overwhelming message all Koreans were sending her. She openly said that she felt at ease that people were telling her that we would be proud regardless of what color medal she wins and that put her at ease. Do some homework. It is in her interviews. All Olympians carry huge load of pressure on them. Yuna probably had more as the world champion going into the Olympics but you got Korea totally wrong if you write that the whole nation would actually turn their back against her if she lost. We love her already as she is regardless of the medal (although her gold medal did really make me VERY happy :))

    • Jay says:

      I agree. Also, I hope people don’t take that comment by the NBC dude literally. I believe people are not that stupid.

      It is no more of pressure than what Brian Orser had when he was the sole hope for Canada to win a gold medal. While Canada did not ‘turn their back on him’, it certainly was a big, big let down to them and Orser knows that. Kim just had the same kind of fear. Nothing new here…

  3. JoshKurter says:

    That’s not right. Ohno didn’t just move on. Ohno showed poor sportsmanship by blaming the Canadian Referee for intentionally siding for Canadian team. He ended his careeer with controversy the same way he begun his Olympic in 2002. Controversial referee calls along with bad sportsmanship.

    But am very happy US shorttrack team was able to get silver and women bronze! wohooo!

    • sandy says:

      He said that maybe the refs being Canadian interfered with their supposed unbiased judging. MAYBE. The call was bullshit, and the ref missed the Canadian pushing down the Korean (which if you notice it, it’s more obvious than Apolo’s infraction).

      Also, the men’s short track team won bronze, so I don’t know if we’re even on the same page.

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