Friday, January 27, 2012

A man who might be more hated than Apolo Ohno?

If that were even possible (I'm just kidding... the Apolo Ohno thing is a rivalry, and there was a strong "We wuz robbed!" vibe during the 2002 Olympics, but hate is an awfully strong word).

Anyway, it seems one of South Korea's former short-track stars has decided the best way to get into the Olympics is to bypass the uber-talented group of skaters on the Korea Republic team by joining another country. Yeah, passport and all.

Ahn Hyunsoo has decided to obtain Russian citizenship in the hopes of bringing the gold to the host nation's team during the 2014 Winter Olympiad at Sochi.

Yeah, that Sochi, the one that beat out South Korea's Pyongchang for hosting rights, four years after Vancouver had barely beaten out South Korea. Yeah, that Sochi, the summer resort that's uncomfortably close to some very angry separatists who occasionally resort to terrorism.

With that still fresh in SoKos' minds (all grievances since 1592 are fresh in SoKos' minds, except those committed by China and North Korea — I kid! I kid!), imagine how popular Mr Ahn will be if he beats out South Korean skaters who are still South Koreans, and brings home gold for the Russians.

Expect Apolo Ohno to smirk. More than usual.

... Sphere: Related Content

3 comments:

  1. Nah. Korea doesn't have a long-standing hate-on for Russia like it does for Japan, nor is its relationship with Russia as hotly politicized as the Kor/US relationship. If Ohno had been anything other than Japanese-American, it wouldn't have been such a sore spot. For Ahn to be hated more than Ohno, he'd have to defect to Japan (digging up old Sohn Kee-Chung memories) or USA, and then beat Korea's top skater (preferably under shady circumstances). If THAT happened, I hope Japan or USA would grant his family asylum from crazed nationalists in Korea, as they might not be safe here.

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    1. You are right that Japan and America are special cases that really cause such rivalries to reach a fevered pitch. However, lesser forms of animosity can also yield some real anger, if enough other elements are present. After all, this was a guy who dropped the ROK for the Russians, and some pent-up aggression against the Soviets may be lurking just below the surface.

      I think it may be a moot point, though. The guy is a bit old for speed skating and has some injuries. He may not be in the medal running at all.

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    2. Boy, was this Ahn kid ever underestimated. =)

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