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Lee Cheun-Gun & Yang Tae-Hwa, `Beautiful Last`

Posted February. 19, 2002 09:21,   


Bizet`s Carmen was played on the ice.

The ice dancing of the figure skating has dominated by the Western athletes, but an Asian couple gave themselves to their performance. They practiced nimble movements in accordance with the music. Their performance was rhythmic and sometimes daring.

There was a mistake. One`s pants were sangged by partner`s skate blade, and they faltered. However, without withering, this couple continued their performance with bright faces and powerful movements.

After their performance, the audience gave hearty cheers and clapping and threw flowers on the ice rink. The couple expressed their thanks for four times.

After a short time, the scores appeared on the electric scoreboard. The scores were 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, … out of 6. A referee gave even the score of 3.7. However, the couple`s faces were filled with happy smiles. "It is alright, this is an Olympic."

They are Lee Chuen-Gun (22, Hanyang Univ) and Yang Tae-Hwa (20, Hanyang Univ) couple who participated in the original dance of the figure skating ice dancing, which was held at the Ice Center yesterday, of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

The couple recorded the last among the 24 entries in compulsory dance, which was held two days ago. In the original dance, they also scored the last. But their looks were cheerful. Yoo Jong-Hyun coach encouraged them and said, "You did good job."

Lee Chuen-Gun said with smiling that, "There was no mistake except my pants were snagged. It supposed to be happened during practices. People called this the `law of Muppy` ."

Ice dancing is a new field in Korea. There are only three teams including Lee-Yang couple (the other two couples are juniors). Therefore, there is little support from the Korea Skate Union and small fans. It is one of so called `non-interested fields`.

Thus, they are looked down in the international competitions. As revealed in the recent `judgment scandal` the referees are decisive for the figure skating scores. Korean teams are disadvantageous because there is none of Korean international referee.

In this poor situation, Lee Chuen-Gun and Yang Tae-Hwa couple became an entry for the Olympic Game for the first time in Korean ice dancing history, and they are really precious players. Coach Yoo said, " Their participation in the Olympic Gave is a miracle." and told them, "Just enjoy the performance."

"A new world was opened. Full of audience, wonderful ice rink, and so many people who love figure skating, …, in some sense, it was an unfamiliar experience. We thought that when we can receive the clapping of this kind of audience. Korean figure skating has begun to toddle just for seven years. Watching other players` performances, we realized our deficiencies. This chance might given to us to encourage our course of learning."

Lee Chuen-Gun and yang Tae-Hwa couple, the `beautiful last` calmly told their experiencial impression of the Olympic stage. They will play their free dance skating on 19th.