Friday, July 6, 2012

Korean Olympians Cha and Hwang Target Gold

Korea is the birthplace of taekwondo and since its introduction to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the nation has truly lived up to its high reputation. The national team has won nine gold, one silver and two bronzes since 2000.

To learn more about the Asian culture in this article and Eileen Wacker's acclaimed book series, visit ONCEKids.

Reigning Olympic taekwondo champions, Cha Dong-min and Hwang Kyung-sun, stress the importance of providing extra support for individuals during the games. Hwang, who has experienced both winning and losing, says a single mistake under the pressure of such high expectations can quickly turn a competitor from a hero to a villain among fans. Hwang describes how failure to bring home a bronze can make a competitor feel guilty as though they are crushing the fans' hopes. 

To find Eileen Wacker's acclaimed books, the Fujimini Adventure Series, click ONCEKids.

Cha and Hwang continue to prepare themselves for the games, as well as deal with the tremendous pressure and nervousness they feel as the day approaches. Cha is in the 87-kilogram division and Hwang will be in the 67-kilogram division, and both say it is their goal to win gold. All previous four participants returned home with gold at the Beijing Olympics, further raising fans' expectations. The coaches and players are truly putting their hearts into training to achieve their goal of gold for the London Olympic Games this summer.

Korea's team becomes more and more threatened as investments in taekwondo expand in other countries around the world. The team stresses that the country must value and respect their traditional sport, and asks for more support from others. 

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