Posted May. 02, 2017 07:06,
Updated May. 02, 2017 07:18
Korean men's ice hockey team wrote a miraculous new history. Once having belonged in the periphery with just 233 registered players, the Korean team ranked second place at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship Division I Group A held on April 29. Korea has become qualified to play at the primary league where the top 16 countries compete, which was largely attributable to the players' fighting spirit as well as the leadership of head coach Baek Chi-sun who implanted a "one-team" spirit to the players.
Three months before Baek took helm in July 2014, the Korean team had an ingrain sense of defeat as it had been degraded to the third league. A Korean-Canadian, Paik had always dreamed of taking charge of the Korean national ice hockey team. Once Baek took leadership, he posted a Korean national flag in the locker room and emphasized pride and unity. "You are a player who represent the Korean national team. Please put utmost priority our nation," he said as he first spoke to his players. He also stressed "We are family" to help both Korean players and foreign players who naturalized as Korean citizen to blend into a team and remember a one-team spirit.
A former North American Ice Hockey League star player, Baek has adopted an advanced ice hockey method and led physical training of players along with professional training company, which laid a ground for their victory. The players' passion, practice, and perseverance, which are Baek's three philosophies, have helped nurture the best team in just three years.
Baek's one-team leadership offers implications for presidential runners in Korea who are obsessed in splitting in order to gather supporters. Baek succeeded as he stressed "We are family," but presidential candidates are going in the opposite direction. Each candidate might want to paint a different nation, but the public wants a single thing, which is a war-free and harmoniously well-off nation. Politicians who want to become presidents should have clear willingness to integrate all people and make a Korean team. What Koreans need at this point is not a divide but a leadership with integration and hope.