Eugene Cho

2008 beijing olympics

It would have been nice if we could have swung over to Beijing [from Korea] to catch the 2008 Summer Olympics. We tried and inquired but airplane ticket prices and lodging fees were insane. We could have stayed at friends’ homes in other cities China but we estimated the drive would have been about 72 hours and 36 hours each way.

But regardless, my entire family is very excited about the soaking in the Olympics over the next several weeks even though I’ll certainly miss the persona and voice of Jim McCay.

There’s something very special about the Olympics. The sporting events [302 events] obviously are exciting but it’s a great opportunity to capture a glimpse of the larger world and the “stories” of so many different people [10,500 athletes are expected to compete].

Questions:

1. What’s your all-time favorite Olympic memory?
2. If you had one EVENT or ATHLETE to follow, what or who would it be?

My answers:
1. Favorite memory. I’m going to cheat and share two:

Gymnastics. I know. I know. But who could not mesmerized by the “Magnificent Seven” of the 1996 Olympics and Kerri Strug’s near perfect vault landing on her gimpy leg. I can still hear Bela Karolyi saying, “You Can Do It.”

Marathon: Korean Hwang Young Cho won the marathon the 1992 Oympics in Barcelona in only his 4th marathon in his career. It was a stunning victory and uplifted the nation of Korea.

2.  Like many others, I’ll be paying special attention to swimmer Michael Phelps and his quest for 8 gold medals.  And yes, I’ll also be following the Men’s Basketball Redeem Team.  Clearly, they are the most “talented” group of players but I still have serious doubts if they can win the gold as a team.

Filed under: sports, , ,

14 Responses

  1. Sammie says:

    Eugene,

    Kerri was actually a copycat. Have you heard about Shun Fujimoto. I actually saw this on TV and it was incredible.

    “Montreal 1976. In the gymnastics team competition, Shun Fujimoto, of Japan, breaks his knee in the floor exercise and does not tell his team-mates for fear of affecting their morale. He completes the pommel horse and then the rings, finishing with a triple somersault on to his knee. He climbed the podium to collect his gold medal unaided.”

  2. DK says:

    I like Phelps but I still think his accomplishments will pale in comparison to Mark Spitz at the tragic Munich games.

    7 events. 7 gold medals. 7 world records.

    Simply amazing and the number is also biblical. 🙂

    If you count the Winter games, put down the 1984 US Hockey Team down as one of the greatest memories.

  3. Kevin Davis says:

    I’m a wrestling freak – so Rolun Gardners upset of the Russian wrestling God in 2000 is probably my fav. This year I’ll be following wrestling, streaming online and follow Jake Dietchler. He is an 18 year old, just graduated from high school and is incredible – we’ll see how he does on the largest stage in the world.

  4. DK says:

    Wow. Maybe people don’t really care about the Olympics anymore.

  5. I love the Olympics. But the IOC really screwed this one up. We should not be in Beijing. We (the USA) should not be aiding in the totalitarian regime that is oppressing so many people who don’t agree with the government. Boycott the 08 Olympics.

  6. aLi. says:

    Eugene, this is totally off topic, but I’m wondering if you saw the interview with the Chapman family on ABC NEWS. Here are the links, just in case.

    http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=5524419
    http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=5518680

  7. randplaty says:

    The Olympics are always full of so many great stories. Looking forward to it.

  8. Michelle says:

    oh! i’m definitely following allyson felix! she’s one of my friends from high school and she’s running the 200m and possibly the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. she got silver in the 200m in 2004 and really shows humility and integrity. watch for her! 🙂

  9. gar says:

    I’ve always liked watching any event with a race – track, swimming, bicycling, etc.. It’s pretty easy to understand for a guy like me – sometimes the whole scoring systems for particular sports make them harder to watch, and I feel like it’s more subjective. In a race, you’re either faster than the other person, or you’re not.

    I also like watching the martial art type events – judo, taekwondo, fencing.

    Lastly… baseball and basketball! Sad that this might be baseball’s last Olympics…

  10. Tyler says:

    Favorite moment….ali lighting the flame

    sport im watching….swimming

  11. eugenecho says:

    @aLi: no, i didn’t see those interviews but assumed they made their first post tragedy interviews because of the number visitors to the posts on schapman. but i did see their family’s interview with larry king last night.

  12. JB says:

    Favorite olympian: Joan Benoit, of course. Winner of the first ever women’s olympic marathon. Before ’84, they didn’t allow women to race the marathon because, well, you all know how fragile we are. That kind of distance might cause us to expire, or maybe just perspire, which is so unwomanly.

    JB won gold after injuring herself in the olympic trials and having knee surgery. She maintained her fitness using a modified bike she pumped with her arms.

    Her performance inspired me to run a marathon (two actually) just so that if someone asked if I was Joan Benoit the marathoner I could honestly say “yes”. I ran under my first name, however, so that someone reading the results sheets wouldn’t think that “the” joan benoit got lost on the course or ran it twice or something.

  13. Melissa says:

    I always follow men’s diving.

  14. Jake says:

    Yay! This is one of the first Olympics that I’ll watch and support simply because China is hosting it.

    After watching the opening ceremonies I felt so proud of China! Can’t believe how much it has changed.

    Very impressed 🙂

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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