Olympics: How to Make Things Awkward!

Posted: February 19, 2010 by The Bearded Guy in Korea, Korean Sports, Olympics
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As most of our readers know, we are English teachers in Korea. Now I am in a similar boat as The Mark, I do not really care who wins these Olympic games or who participates in them. Sure if its on I will be watching, but I do not know the schedule, the athletes or many of the story lines besides what Tony and Michael talk about during the Morning PTI, 5:30 PM Eastern/7:30 Am KST. 

I believe the correct term is Photo terrorism.

According to them, PETA is not thrilled with Johnny Weir,  I could have gone without seeing his costumes. But If I had to witness them so you do! Anyways beyond that and the talks of Lindsey Vonn’s calf, I did not know whats happening with the American teams and individuals in Vancouver. 

That all changed yesterday as my administrator turned on the Korean broadcast of the Olympics. During what happen to be one of their main events, Speed Skating.  Now I have seen Koreans practicing speed skating….I have never seen any one in the United States speed skate. So I thought, ‘cool’, we are head to head, they can celebrate their victory of over America and it will all be a great day.’ 

Things started out great, we were in second with about 6 runs left, my administrator turned to me and fist pumped after one of the runs….Let them celebrate its Speed Skating… a crowd of the teachers started to gather around the computer and take in the event. This was going to be their Gold

Enter Shani Davis of Chicago,  and the second to last heat, six of us watching: four teachers, one administrator, and the foreigner (me),  mix in a language barrier and you are primed. Mo Tae-Bum had already set the standard with a time of 1:09.12.  As the race started they got closer to the screen trying to will on their skater to beat Davis, to have a collective fist pump in my direction. But coming around the second turn it was evident, that this guy was not their savior, Davis took over and started putting some distance between them, but things were still alright with the Koreans due to Mo Tae-Bum’s performance. 

Vh1 Best Month Ever Candidate: February-Shani Davis

Yet as Davis kept moving faster and things started to look pretty grim for South Korea and me. I started getting glances, looks of disappointment. Davis crossed and he was the new leader, 1:08.94, the Americans ran on to the ice and were congratulating him, and the Korean station showed it all. Let me say this my co-workers were not mad at me….just disappointed, kind of like “how could you have done this to us, Bearded Guy. How could you win this one?” 

How does one respond to that? 

I can’t say “I didn’t know we even had a team.” Although that would be mostly true, I do not want to hurt their feelings more, by saying “I did not even care about the event.” All I could do was sheepishly shrug. Avoiding their further embarrassment, they quickly dispersed but the damage had been done, at least to their psyche. 

Sorry Korea,  we are better at most sports, some that we do not even know about, than you! Beyond that apparently we have more in speed skating than Apolo Anton Ohno, who is also the arch-enemy of South Korea. I think they hate soul patches! 

Apparently this is the worse way to win in Korea: having to Stand next to Ohno

Note:  How does the US women hockey team beat Russia 13-0? Isn’t hockey their thing? Could I compare it to United States losing in football internationally? Thoughts? 

1000m Long Track Champion represent 

The Bearded Guy 

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Comments
  1. sittingpugs says:

    Davis crossed and he was the new leader, 1:08.94, the Americans ran on to the ice and were congratulating him, and the Korean station showed it all. Let me say this my co-workers were not mad at me….just disappointed, kind of like “how could you have done this to us, Bearded Guy. How could you win this one?”

    Wow. Their question gets right to the heart of things. Sports are not just games. There’s a reason why spectators experience a range of and arguably an irrational intensity of emotion when their teams do or do not win. That it was an Olympic event made it all the more “clear”…American speed skaters are as much a part of you as you represent them.

    Sometimes that affiliation is good, sometimes not.

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