Sunday, 28 February 2010

South Korea Stopped For Four Minutes!

Most Vancouver Olympic watchers, like me, stay glued to the TV to watch the game these days. The speedskating, snowboarding, figure skating and ski slaloms are usually entertaining to watch, except for the irritating SBS TV commentators who scream, shout and, of all the things to do on air, cry! I could have been spared from this commentating if only I have ESPN. But I don't.
And although ice hockey and figure skating are the centerpiece sports of the Olympics, most Koreans are only watching the latter, where their very own Kim Yu-na may just bring the country's first gold medal.

With the short program broadcast last Wednesday noon, Korea time, last Friday was the free skate.

And with the time difference between Canada and South Korea, Kim Yu-na's turn to skate the ladies' free skate was Thursday night in Vancouver, noon time in Korea, Friday.
So at around 1:20 PM last Friday, every one in Korea was glued on TV at home, on their computer monitors at the offices and at public giant TV screens every where.

I happened to be at the Yongsan Station in Seoul around that time to grab some late lunch and swung at the lobby of the station where the public TVs were showing the free skate. The audience included some KTX passengers, mothers on their way to the grocery downstairs, office people, students on vacation and a few regulars who always hang around the station.
And as Yu-na didn't disappoint her countrymen, they applauded as she nailed her performance, an applause perhaps she would hear half-way around the world. And during those four minutes of her performance, she practically stopped work here in South Korea.