Highlights from South Korea’s Very Bizarre Olympics

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When it comes to the Olympics, I’m only mildly interested in things like winning and gold medals. Oh no, I’m far more interested in things that go woefully wrong – I’m the guy who watches figure skating during the Winter Olympics and prays that somebody falls down. So, that said, these Summer Olympics have been brilliant for me, as I live in South Korea and that country has had one whacky thing after another happen to them. Here, if you haven’t been paying attention to South Korea’s zany Olympics, have been some of the highlights:

Wrong Flag Causes Protest by North Korean Soccer Team: In a slight guffaw, organizers for the Olympics accidentally showed the North Korean women’s soccer team players juxtaposed with, um, the South Korean flag. Whoops! I mean, it’s not like these two countries are technically still at war or anything. Oh, wait, they are! North Korea was understandably upset and refused to take the soccer field until the slip-up was fixed, which took over an hour. During this time, the Olympics Committee surely got a quick briefing on North Korea and was likely shocked to learn that Kim Jong Ill died last year, Samsung is in the South, and now North Korea will be blowing them up for the flag faux pas.

Blind Dude Sets Record in Archery: No, that’s not a joke. South Korean archer Im Dong Hyun, who is technically blind, broke an Olympic record for achieving the highest score ever in the first round of the archery tournament. Im followed his incredible performance by shocking audiences again when, in a terrible case of cultural differences, he cooked and ate his own Seeing Eye dog.

Fencer Breaks Down in Tears: There was only a second left in fencer Shin A-Lam’s match with the winner of the previous Olympics, Germany’s Britta Heidemann. Shin thought the clock had run out; apparently it should have, but due to a malfunction, it didn’t. Heidemann was able to score the winning strike and won the match. Shin, in response, had a total meltdown. While her coach filed a formal protest, Shin cried and cried, still standing on her spot of defeat, as rules dictate one cannot leave the piste during a protest. Eventually Shin’s protest was denied, she cried more, was taken off the piste, and came back a few minutes later only to lose the bronze medal match. Later, Shin was offered a special consolidation medal, I guess because she was so cute with all the tears and drama and stuff (or because the clock broke, who am I to say?). Shin refused to accept the special medal, as she had already been changed into a bitter and angry person by that point, destined to spend the rest of her life easing her frustrations by pushing people in the Seoul subway.

Korean Men’s Soccer Player Barred from Medal Ceremony: Say, you just beat the Japanese soccer team in the bronze medal match. What better time could there be for making an obnoxious, not-so-subtle anti-Japan political statement? That’s exactly what Korean soccer player Park Jong Woo did, holding up a sign saying that the jointly claimed island called Dok-do is in fact Korea’s. Park’s statement eventually stopped him from being able to receive his bronze medal. To no one’s surprise, Park’s sign did not convince Japan to give up the island and nothing has changed.

Swiss Soccer Player Sent Home for Racist Tweet: Before any of this political stuff happened, a Swiss soccer player got kicked off the team for tweeting that Koreans are “mongoloids.” While the Swiss player’s tweet infuriated Koreans, his dismissal confused mongoloids around the world, who saw nothing offensive at all about the comparison.

Korean Weight Lifter Snaps Arm: Here’s a nice montage of pain.

So there you have it, my favorite South Korean Olympic moments. Who knew the South Koreans could add so much entertainment value to the games? So, in conclusion, the general public learned a lot this Olympics. They learned that North Korea has its own flag, blind guys can shoot arrows, weights are heavy and, on a broader note, that The Spice Girls are still pretty darn hot.

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17 thoughts on “Highlights from South Korea’s Very Bizarre Olympics

    • Yeah, I kind of felt bad for the fencer. I don’t really understand, though, why she would’ve won had it ended in a tie. Still, that sucks to have that happen – can she even show her future kids the video of her Olympic experience, cause it would be kind of embarrassing to be a big tearful mess like that.

      She DID end up winning a medal in doubles, so that’s some consolidation.

  1. peevishmagnifyingglass

    I am pretty sure that picture of the archer you have is Oh J.H. Who won gold for S. Korea. The only reason I know is because out of no where I got caught up in the archery finals. Why? Because I was fascinated that that face he is making is not due to pulling the bow back. He actually snarl’s before every shot. It was hilarious. He also does dap with his coach, points to his arm to rep S. Korea (there was flag on the arm of his clothing), and does that hug with the hard pat on the back. Coolest archer I’ve ever scene. You also have to love the fact that he doesn’t look to be in that great shape. Like he just does this in his spare time.

      • Haha. Yeah, that picture is the correct blind archer. Hey, I typed “blind archer” into Google – that shit better be right! The dude who won gold looks similar – he’s slightly chubbier but the big giveaway is that the gold medal dude has jet black hair and the blind guy seems to have lightened his to a browner color. For the record, this is by far the closest attention I’ve ever paid to the hair of archers.

        I’m sure they spend as much time practicing the snarl as they do shooting arrows. It’s the intimidation factor. And I like the idea that this is just their hobby, like they’re KIA employees who happen to dig shooting arrows.

  2. What I cannot understajd why it’s part of the Olympics games is Rhythmic gymnastics…. and I hate equestrian games ( what the heck ! a game for the rich ? ), and f0r some reason, I don’t like pingpong. It’s mindless.

    • Oh Ren, how I love your brain! The pingpong bit cracked me up. In all honesty, I dislike pingpong as well. Especially playing it. The equestrain games are hellishly dull. One odd event I really like is the women’s weightlifting. Something about seeing some puffy woman lift a shitload of weight is really exciting. And I like that they wear earrings sometimes. Why do they do that? Do they feel pretty when they lift? Why not – intriguing creatures those female weight lifters.

      • Haha – yeah, that was fast, eh? I actually at work right now, class of kids working on stuff. Probably should not be on here. Ah well! They’re smart and stuff. : )

        Go to bed Ren!

      • 6:45 pm. I’m so bored. Wish I was doing laundry.

        Forgive me if this is a stupid question: are you still in school studying biology? What, are you on break or something? Did you graduate? I don’t remember. Sorry Ren!

      • School starts in 1 week. Oh, my, word ! Next week ! ! I can’t believe vacation is almost over. hu hu hu

        Yes, my course is molecular microbiology, and I graduate in one year. Quiet delayed actually. Not my fault. I can’t get the courses that I need, sem, after sem, after sem. The uni cannot afford to add additional classes.

      • Hi Ren! Sorry for abandoning you – classes changed and I had to actually work. That’s amazing that you’re studying microbiology. You must be a very intelligent person. Don’t worry about how long it takes – hey, I spent 5 1/2 years earning an English degree. I also think it’s fantastic that you’re spending time traveling and living the life now, so you won’t have that itch (or at least not as bad) once you get settled with a real job.

        Also, on a different note, I hope you got some sleep last night. And finished that laundry, too. : )

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