Korean Class MASSIVE was fairly quiet last week as, like the rest of London, we all got well into the Olympic spirit! It’s been just over a week and in this short and intense period we have all suddenly become huge fencing fanatics! The Olympics has exceeded everyone’s expectations, and many of us are spending our evenings glued to TV and live streams, as you can tell from our Facebook feeds. Must watch ALL the sports!!!
But it has not been such a smooth journey, Team GB got off to a slow start and South Korea in particular have been hitting all the headlines. Even before the Olympics officially started, drama kicked off when the wrong flag was used to represent North Korea during a women’s football match. This pushed the forever sensitive subject of the North and South Korea divide to all the front pages of the British news. The British made light of the incident with some good old British humour from Specsavers. But this was no where near the end of controversy for South Korea.
On the first official day of the Olympics, Jin Jon Goh won the first medal for South Korea, a Gold! In fact, he has since become the proud owner of TWO Gold medals! Jin Joh Goh taebak!!! Also to win medals on the very first day was the men’s archery team, walking away with bronze! South Korea managed to end the first day with 3 medals, one of each. However, the silver did not come easily as originally Park Taehwan was disqualified due to a “false start”, but after an appeal this was overturned and Park Taehwan has since become responsible for both of South Korea’s silver medals in swimming.
It was only the 3rd day of the Olympic games when South Korea was hit with the biggest Olympic scandal so far. Shin A Lim spent probably the most traumatic hour of her life alone on the piste with the whole world watching as her path towards a guarantee a medal was debated and argued. We spent a tense evening watching and waiting with Shin. This is our understanding of the event that night: In fencing, you try and score as many points as possible in certain time periods. The clock hit 0 which means that Shin A Lim should have won, but for some reason, the clock was reset to 1 second. Olympic officials argued that this was human error and was simply a case of the clock not being stopped fast enough. But in that extra full second, Germany was able to score a whopping 3 points which meant that they ended up winning the game. This incident has been debated to death and is still making headlines as the Olympic committee try to give Shin a “special” award for her courage. But strong and determined Shin will have none of it.
After that unforgettable night South Korea went on to show their awesomeness by staying within the Top 5 of the medal leader board. Just when you thought they were about to be overtaken, they go and win THREE Gold medals in one day to and managed to jump up to 3rd on Friday after a triumphant day. This good news thankfully overshadowed yet another scandal this time involving both of the South Korean Female doubles badminton team. It started off during a match between China and South Korea. Both teams had already qualified for the quarter finals, but whoever won this game would go on to face the other China team, the Jean Claude Van Damme of the Badminton tournament. China clocked onto this early and started playing to lose in a bid to be matched with a “easier” team for the quarter finals. South Korea soon noticed what China was doing and proceeded to attempt to lose the game as well. This resulted in the most embarrassing and awful match of badminton ever. Audiences who paid good money to watch this match were booing, with the commentators walking out and the match was not even aired. This fiasco continued in the later South Korea vs Indonesia match as both teams also attempted to lose their match in a bid for a easy opponent in the quarter finals. South Korea ended up winning both their matches but all four teams were disqualified. South Korea and Indonesia both tried to appeal but it was unsuccessful and one of the Chinese badminton players has since retired from the sport.
The problem in fencing is with the equipment, as in fencing every millisecond of a second is crucial; you often see points being scored within a 1/5 of a second. But even with all these fancy light up pistes, the timer for the fencing games would only measure in full seconds. This meant that that final second ended up lasting what felt like a life time. It was really hard to see Shin in such a horrible situation and the strict Olympic rules do not help. Whilst Shin was traumatised enough as it is by this frustrating ruling, she was then forced to stay alone on the piste as her coach argued and battled on her behalf. This was because if Shin was to leave the piste, it meant she accepted the defeat. It was the tensest moment in TV sporting history. In the end the Olympic committee stayed with their decision even though many disagreed. We’re not too familiar with the rules ourselves but one thing we’re certain of is that the whole situation could have been handled better. More time should have been used to carefully examine this situation and poor Shin should not have been left to go through this emotional turmoil on the piste alone. Shin then had to return within an hour of being emotionally and forcefully removed from the piste to battle for the bronze. One positive outcome of this heartbreaking evening was that Shin won the hearts of all those in the stadium and her strength and determination earned the support of people all over the world. She’s since gone on to win a Silver medal as part of the Epee Team, a very much deserved win!!! And South Korea has 6 medals from fencing, including TWO GOLDS!
This weekend also saw South Korea win against our very own Team GB in our nation’s favourite sport Football, a match which left us torn! But since that defeat, Team GB has started to fight back after an extremely slow start and have managed to over take South Korea on the medal leader board after a short weekend due to the start of all the athletics rounds.
But whilst this was all happening, Chung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae were kicking butt in the Men’s double and being awesome in all their matches. We just wanted to state that we are huge Chung and Lee fangirls now. They won bronze over the weekend. We cried, we screamed, we too wanted to hug super emotional Chung and be hugged by super hot Lee. It was an extraordinary game, at one point Lee and Chung were only on 13 points when Malaysia was on 19, but something magical happened and they managed to catch up and win the opening game! Malaysia was doing so well but Lee and Chung just upped their awesome with the help of mega poker face Coach and just stormed ahead to claim the Bronze.
Currently South Korea is holding on strong in fourth place on the medal leader board. With 11 Golds, 5 Silvers and 6 Bronze, they have done extremely well!!! We would also like to point out that South Korea is not to be messed with, as a majority of their medals especially the Golds are from shooting, archery, fencing and judo. They seemed to be skilled in all forms of combat… Especially the girls who dominated in the Archery tournaments!
We wish South Korea and Team GB luck for the rest of the games! It’s been nail biting and intense! We are trying our best to cover all the games and keep all those not luckily enough to get live streams of ALL the games up to date on our Facebook page! And last but not least, we wanted to say a MASSIVE well done to Yang Hak-seon who today became the first South Korean to win GOLD in gymnastics!!! \o/