Category Archives: Olympics

Perhaps I should keep a low profile till this crap boils over

Big news in Korea is the disqualification of the South Korean women’s 3000 metres short-track skating relay team. The Korean ladies crossed the line first only to be disqualified by an Australian referee, Jim Hewish, with the gold subsequently going to arch-rivals, China. The result displeased many locals to put it midly with Jim Hewish, who happened to disqualify Kim Dong-sung in ’02 enabling Korean arch-nemsis Apolo Anton Ohno to win the men’s 1500 metre gold medal, being the subject of their ire.

While, in my opinion the decision was overly harsh and therefore  disqualification was not warranted,  I don’t think any sane individual can justify the following developments undertaken by the Korean netizen community: threatening to bomb the Australian Embassy in Seoul, death threats made against Mr. Hewish with his Sydney house subsequently being placed under police protection after his address and Google map image of his house was leaked onto the Internet via enraged Korean netizens as well as Mr. Hewish being placed under police protection in Vancouver and unable to officiate Friday’s racing due to death threats and 20,000 angry emails.

Here’s a Youtube video of the critical decision in the race, judge for yourself.

I posted my comments in regards to this situation on the Marmot’s Hole, who along with Brian in Jeollanam-do (now in western Pennsylvania) have covered this latest controversy.

With reports now that Hewish’s house in Sydney is under police guard due to threats from the Korean netizen community I think it’s finally time to say that yes, whilst the decision was quite harsh and a bad question, the netizen community has to take a deep breath, release any lingering han and chill the hell out because you’re not doing your country any benefit and in fact are potentially sabotaging any chances of South Korea holding a major sports event in the near-future.

Ohno and Jim Hewish in ‘02, the Swiss national soccer team and FIFA in ‘06 and now Jim Hewish and the Australian Embassy in Seoul – death threats, e-mail bombing and other malarkey may help overturn decisions within Korea but does bugger all for your cause in the rest of the world. FIFA and the IOC have long memories and it’s not a good idea to piss ‘em off if you hope to host a winter games in Pyeongchang and the ‘22 World Cup in Korea.

I think someone high up really needs to step in and tell the lunatic-fringe subset of the population that these shenanigans that follow any and every time something goes against Korea, has the potential to damage the country’s image far more than a hundred Korea, Sparkling™ ads can help the country’s image.

I hate when netizen losers sabotage Korea’s image as often the result is Korea making news for all the wrong reasons. One minute we have Kim Yu-na, the personification of grace, goodwill and ability; the next we have the netizen nutbars. *sigh*

P.S. I lost interest in short-track skating once Steven Bradbury retired.

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Let the Games begin

Chinese drummers at the commencement of the opening ceremony

You can say what you want about China but they sure know how to make an entrance, holding an opening ceremony costing the equivalent of a third-world nation’s annual GDP. It was bold, colourful, extravagant, with a couple of nice military touches just to let you know the Middle Kingdom is charge of the whole thing for the next 16 days not the IOC.

Chinese military in firm control of the Chinese flag

Chinese ethnic minority dancers in native dress overlooking the ceremony

One World, One Dream with China on top seemed to be the theme of the ceremony. I did like the focus on China’s history and culture, complete with its 55 distinct ethnic minorities proudly displaying their native dress (and not being persecuted by Han Chinese….). London’s got a tough job to beat that opening ceremony in four year’s time.

The Olympics rings illuminated

In the meantime, it looks like war in Georgia over South Ossetia with Russian troops entering via air and land. US troops are based in the West-looking, EU-aspiring former Soviet republic and it seems Mother Russia won’t let that happen. What would Stalin say? He was ethnic Georgian after all. So much for peace during the games.

Let the Games begin!

The torch is lit

Opening ceremony gallery available here.