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`Little Miracle`, Korea’s Ski Jumping Comes 8th

Posted February. 20, 2002 09:27,   


Korean ski jumping team performed a `little miracle`. It was in Ski Jumping’s team `K-120` event of 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics that took place at the Utah Olympic Park on the 19th.

Korea’s last participating athlete, Kang Chil-Gu (18, Muju Sulchon High.) flew with the speed of 94.1 kilometers per hour. A `human bird` flew high and landed on the slope lightly. His distance record came out to be122 meters, which was the best among the other Korean athletes. Kang raised both his arms and shouted loud in joy, as if he could not believe it himself. After gaining 63.6 points in the distance, he also received 54 points in the style making the total of 117.6 points in the second jump.

The sum of the four members’ records was 801.6 points and the team came 8th following Switzerland (818.3 pts), which was led by second-time Olympic winner, Simon Ammann.

Korea came last in its first participation in the ski jumping during the 1998 Nagano Olympics, but this time, it achieved the best record ever, coming before Norway, France, and U.S.A. Korean ski jumping has poor conditions, including only 7 domestic athletes.

Coach Choi Don-Kuk said, "I feel happy as if we got the gold medal." Choi Hung-Chul, Kim Hyun-Ki, Choi Yong-Jik, and Kang Chil-Gu also said with big smiles, "It just feels great. We became confident for a medal next time." In the game, Germany scored total 974.1 points to win the gold, and Finland was only 0.1 point behind.

In ice dancing, France’s Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat won the gold medal and became the first non-Russians to win gold in the event since 1984. Korean couple, Lee Chun-Kun and Yang Tae-Hwa, participated in the event for the first time, and recorded the 24th position.

In the women’s Aerials event of Freestyle Skiing, Australia’s Alisa Camplin won the nation’s second gold medal. Ice Hockey, which will start its quarterfinals from 21st, will play matches of Sweden(Group C, 1st) - Belarus(Group D, 4th), U.S.A.(Group D, 1st) - Germany(Group C, 4th), Finland(Group D, 2nd) - Canada (Group C, 3rd), and Czech(Group C, 2nd) - Russia (Group D, 3rd).