Today was the day, the day for South Korea's crowned ice princess to win her gold for her ever proud country, and she did just that. In case you haven't seen the news or been in a hole for the past 3 days, Kim Yuna was South Korea's hope and favored to win gold in women's ice skating. She is a mere 19 years old yet has the grace and poise of true royalty.
She skated her short program on Wednesday without a hitch after which she assumed the number one rank. Today was the last hurdle, the long program.
I had hoped to be able to watch it live but wasn't sure of the timing here and we had to attend a school luncheon. I knew the event would be a 24-hour loop for the next 10 years so I'd have the chance to see it at some point. We had a fabulous and expensive (65,000W per platter of meat all together we had 5!!!) lunch of beef which were cut with scissors and roasted over glowing coals. We ate with all the teachers of the school two of whom are leaving thus the purpose of the meal. It tasted absolutely incredibe to eat something other than pork and so we gorged ourselves only to regret it later with some vicious stomach aches.
Throughout the meal our directors wife (I'll call her Chong for short) was in and out of our private dining room. I soon realized there was a TV just outside the room and she was sporadically watching women's skating. I asked her completely in English if "SHE" skated yet and she said "No no!", amazing how certain subjects supercede language.
After the delicious meal our director announced we were going to go out to the main room and watch Yuna skate and have coffee. I was quite relieved we'd get to see it live and see everyones reaction. It could not have been a better setting to watch this event unfold. You must understand that when it comes to this young lady people get incredibly emotional and are just so proud to live in the same country as her.
The coffee is served and Yuna comes out on the ice... the tension, excitment, and pride is just thick in the air. She starts the program... she jumps and the people CHEEEER!!! another jump... YAAAAAAY!!!through out the entire program the cheering could be heard. Ben and I had planted ourselves to the right of the TV and most of the people were behind us. I kept turning around to see everyone's reactions because it was just so adorable. EVERYONE in the restaurant was gathered around the tables to watch, even random people off the street ran inside just to watch. And everytime she landed a jump a crowd of about 30 people in this steak restaurant cheered for joy.
Then the last and spin... and Yuna bursts into tears and realizes she's done her best and knows she has made her country proud no matter what. I turned around to see 80% of the room with tears of joy streaming down their face, they were cheering, and clapping. It was just so sweet, they were SOO proud of their Yuna. Truthfully, I was apart of the nubmers of people crying, it was just beautiful and all the more being amidst a bunch of adoring fans how could you not. It was such an adorable moment.
The rest of the day all I heard throughout the streets, in the bus terminal, and in my class was Yuna! Yuna! Yuna! GOLD MEDAL!!!! I get home, turn on the TV and there is an Olympic update... YUNA wins GOLD!!! and now to the news.... YUNA WINS GOLD MEDAL FOR South Korea!!! The pride was just oozing from everywhere. They showed video clip after video clip of the different places people had gathered wherever they were to watch her skate.
The fireman, the policemen, at the airport, in restaurtants, in the street everyone everywhere stopped what they were doing to watch. It was just so cute to see all these Koreans men and women alike teary eyed and never prouder clapping and cheering for little Miss Yuna. There are very few sporting events that could make one shed a tear but this was definitely one of them.
What a memory I won't soon forget. I'll never forget where I was and how if felt to be here and experience that moment with South Korea.
Tonite we are going to check out the new pizza place that just opened down the street. Its called Pizza School and after we ordered they handed Ben the receipt along with a bar of Dial soap. Ben - "Are they trying to tell me something?" What a grand opening give away, bars of soap, only in Korea!
The -za! We didn't realize a cheesu pijja have corn on it but it was quite tasty cause it was kind of roasted by the time it came out of the oven. And the best part $5,000W !!! It's like the Little Ceaser's of SK.
Two of my fav snacks, slightly sweetned popcorn (different then the American stuff) and these curly chip things, also kinda sweet but love the crunchiness.
We're still waiting to hear the latest from the surgeon and the test results.