Friday, February 26, 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics (Part 2)

Yesterday's women's figure skating was simply breathtaking. Vancouver's Olympics figure skating will definitely be remembered for the record-breaking performances, as well as emotional strength, that the athletes displayed.

Winning the bronze medal,
ROCHETTE Joannie of Canada:

We all know her moving story by now--her mother passed away suddenly two days before her competition. But what is also inspiring about Joannie is the fact that she has endured through tragedy before to stand proudly where she is now. When she returned home from the Turin Olympics, Joannie found out that one of her training partners had been killed in a car accident.

After her short program, she wasn't able to hold back her emotions, and let her tears fall. Personally, I was worried that maybe all the pressure of an Olympics games, as well as her grief would hurt her free skate program, but she proved me wrong yesterday. She was able to win a bronze medal. Canada should be very proud of not only her dedication to her sport, but also of her strength.

The silver,
ASADA Mao of Japan:

Mao Asada was considered by many to be a child prodigy, placing in several junior and senior national competitions. She is the first and only lady to have performed two triple axel jumps at the same program in an ISU (International Skating Union) competition. She is also the first and only woman to have landed three triple axel jumps in the same competition at an ISU competition. She accomplished this yesterday.

Her routine was interesting. She landed all her jumps cleanly in the free skate yesterday, and her choreography was definitely her signature style (the spiral sequence). The NBC broadcasters mentioned that she had many hopes riding on her for the gold, and that she wanted the gold badly. In Japan, Mao is one of the top celebrities, and one of their national prides. Though she fell short this time, there is no doubt that she is a beautiful ice skater, and that won her the silver medal.

And the 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist of Women's Ice Skating...
KIM Yu Na of South Korea:

Where do I start... Kim Yu Na is 19 years old, as is Mao Asada. Right now, she is the reigning world and Olympic champion, and is also the record holder for ladies in the short program, the free skating, and the combined total under the ISU Judging System. Kim is the first female skater to surpass the 200-point mark and also the first female skater to receive +2.20 grade of execution for jumps under the ISU Judging System, as of yesterday.

Like Mao, Yu Na faced many expectations from her country, as she is not only the queen of the ice, but also the queen of commercial advertising for Korean products. I'm happy to see her blood, sweat, and tears rewarded with this Olympic medal.

Here are her winning performances:

Short Program:

Thanks to JellolBello for the video.

I can't seem to find a video that I can embed in my blog, but click here to watch the free skate program!

Just exquisite.
Congratulations to all the competitors for a memorable performance.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics (Part 1)

Sometimes being an outlier can be rewarding, but right now it's pretty confusing.

I'm always excited about the Olympics--I mean, it's always exhilarating to watch internationally recognized athletes compete with each other, and try to out perform their personal own best--but yesterday made me stop and think.

The South Korean short track speed skating team has done fairly well in Vancouver, with Lee Jung-Su with two gold medals, and Lee Ho Suk winning a silver medal in yesterday's race. After the horrible crash in the short track 1500 race, I was hoping for the three athletes (Lee Jung-Su, Lee Ho Suk, and Sung Shi-Bak) to have another chance to even slightly raise their self-esteem.

And for the most part, they seemed to work harder, and won two medals! (I felt sorry for Sung Shi-Bak, who seemed very disappointed at not qualifying for the finals. He was denied a medal because of the earlier mistake by his teammate, Lee Ho Suk as well.)
Better luck next time Sung Shi-Bak! Don't be discouraged and continue to try hard.

And Apollo Ohno managed to pick up a bronze, which is fairly commendable. Unfortunately, my favorite US speed skater (J. R. Celski) didn't qualify.

So I was in a pretty good mood! As a proud Korean-American, I was happy for both Korea and America's medals.

But my friend decided to text message me after the race, asking if I had watched it.

She said that she was proud of Apollo Ohno being a good sport, and that the Koreans were wrong in disliking Ohno. She also mentioned that the Korean people threatened Ohno, and prevented him from entering Korea during the 2002 Fifa World Cup. She also said that the Korean skaters were "sore" losers (which is ironic, because they won, and they were courteous about it). She also brought up the controversial Salt Lake City disqualification.

There goes my good mood.
This girl is a good friend of mine, and I didn't expect these words from her. She did end up saying that she believed that the Koreans were great skaters, and that she "would never hate them", but we obviously have some different perspectives.

As a Korean-American, I sometimes feel torn in between two cultures. I thoroughly enjoy watching the Superbowl (especially when the Steelers are playing!), but would probably be watching while chomping on a bag of spicy Sewookkang--check out this website if you don't know what I'm talking about. I could be chattering away to someone in Korean, but could be talking about my English homework.

But because I am a KOREAN-American, many of my friends around me seem to forget that I am American as well. I understand them--I don't look like all of them, I don't speak like all of them, and I lead a generally different lifestyle. And when I cheer for Korea in various events, I become a foreigner to them.

While the Winter Olympics are meant to symbolize unity between the nations on Earth, it doesn't seem to helping my identity crisis at all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Are The World.

Just thought I'd share this inspirational video, a remake of Micheal Jackson's We Are The World to show support for uniting and working to help those in Haiti.

The official video We Are The World 25 For Haiti is one worth viewing as well (check it out here:, but I thought that this one had a very unique flavor to it.

Thanks to TylerWardMusic, as well as the other performers for sharing this video.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I used to think hate was a really strong word, and that I didn't have the right to use it.

Now I'm being forced to reevaluate the word.

A teacher I had once, that taught me how to type (I loved my BCT class) but also how to live life was killed. He taught me that life is bigger than how you feel, but also partly how you react to it. A 22 year old man is now being charged for first degree murder.
Police say his motive was robbery.
I don't want to go into details.

Rest in peace, Mr. Davis. 2/9/10.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In which I am trying to be optimistic about Spanish.

Because of the beginning of the new semester, I also began some new classes. One of which includes Spanish III.

I hadn't taken Spanish since a year and a half ago, and promptly forgot much of the language. This was not on purpose-- my mind seems to dispose of things rather quickly, unfortunately. Which might be why giving me a planner might not be such a great idea; chances are, I'll accidentally 'dispose' of that too.

So, I began my new Spanish class, and my teacher decides to speak in, basically, only Spanish.

o_o was my facial expression for the entire first class.

Thank goodness I decided to keep my Spanish notes-- I'm beginning to remember my espaƱol. Problem is, I'm not sure whether my memory's coming back fast enough.

I have a quiz this Friday.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bipolar Weather

Charlotte has bipolar weather.

Last week, the temperature ranged from over 60 degrees to 11 degrees.
It was sunny, and then it snowed.

School was canceled today because the roads were iced over, and there was still a little bit of snow left on the ground. But by the end of the day, the sun was out, and I could walk around in a T-shirt.

I REALLY should consider living in a place with slightly predictable weather.

But of course, unpredictability is what makes life exciting.