Updated August. 14, 2012 23:26
The national soccer team has beaten Japan in the London Summer Olympics to capture its first Olympic medal in the sport. In the third-place game Friday, Korea overwhelmed Japan in both teamwork and spiritual power, presenting a gratifying victory for the many Koreans who stayed up all night to watch the game on television. The game was one on which both countries staked their national pride and honor. The Taegeuk Warriors deserve their people`s warmest congratulations for overcoming their psychological burden and winning.
Koreas Olympic soccer team is called the golden generation. The players grew up receiving systematic coaching and training and have played in foreign leagues to build their experience in the global arena. Head coach Hong Myung-bo maximized his players` potential through making thorough preparations and looking several years ahead. By winning the bronze, the team has proven that it has vast potential for the future. The success story will likely be a valuable asset not only for Korean soccer but also for the country`s younger generation.
In the London Olympics, which closed today, Korea won 13 golds to rank fifth in the general standings. The country has exceeded its initial goal of winning 10 golds and ranking in the top 10. What cannot be forgotten is that behind the team`s glory is the grueling efforts by each athlete and creative minds. Korean athletes won two golds in fencing, which had long been dominated by Western players. To compete with Western players with longer arms, the Korean team focused its training on acquiring quick footwork and sense of distance. Yang Hak-seon, who won Koreas first Olympic gold in gymnastics, invented his own techniques of the highest difficulty to ascend to the top.
Female weightlifter Jang Mi-ran and women volleyball and handball players simply shined in London despite finishing fourth. Watching their love of sports and sportsmanship, Koreans shared the golden moments of their lives. The Korean martial art taekwondo attracted keen interest in the Olympics by reforming its competition rules. Though Korea won just one gold medal in the event, the prospects for the martial art becoming a permanent Olympic event has turned brighter.
The London Olympics was a model for maximizing Koreas national power through cooperation from all sectors of society. The Korean Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry established a training camp in London for the national team for the first time in the countrys Olympic history to help the athletes enhance their capabilities. Big business also supported Korean athletes in a number of events, making significant contributions to their good performances. Through the London Olympics, Korea has once again showed its national power through sports.