March 2, 2010

"Vancouver Olympic Games usher in welcome cultural changes in S.Korea"

No doubt, South Korea surprised the world with strong performances at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Who would have foreseen few years ago that a Korean skater would win a gold medal in ladies' figure skating competition? Perhaps these are signs of South Korea's status as an economic powerhouse that can provide advanced training and bountiful resources for individual athletes.

Korea is a very competitive society where the desire of being the number one in a particular field is still prevalent, from schools to competitions. And Koreans tend to be overtly preoccupied with national prestige whenever Korean athletes compete in international sporting events, with less focus on the merits of individual efforts regardless of the results. This sentiment may be changing, as a Korean observer notes a change in cultural outlook of Korean fans on sports competitors.

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