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Party is Not Over

Posted June. 26, 2002 22:48,   


"This is just beginning.”

Although Tuesday’s defeat to Germany ended the nation’s World Cup dream, people across the country are set to relish their success until the final moment. Red-shirted fans will once again root for their team when Korea meets the loser of the Brazil-Turkey match in the third-place playoff in Daegu on Saturday.

“It’s time to show the world that we are a part of global soccer culture not just Korean supporters,” said Kim Hong-joon, a 31-year-old office worker who is a member of the red squad. “We will continue rooting for our team until the last day of this global festival.”

“I am so exhausted, but I will get the stadium thoroughly ready for our final match and showcase the pride of Koreans,” said Kim Si-hyung, a 35-year-old architect working with the Korea World Cup Organizing Committee.

“I am happy to know that the world has recognized our advanced infrastructure as well as achievements of our team,” he also said. “I will make data out of the know-how I accumulated, and keep it as memory of glorious days.”

People also left messages on the Internet that say the national team fought well and street cheering must continue until the last day of this World Cup. “We must thank those players who have worked so hard for the last 2 years and made the semi-final history,” said one message posted on the organizing committee Website. “This is just beginning. Let’s go to Daegu.”

“I congratulate the Germans on their victory and thank our players for their hardworking,” said one message left in Donga.com.

People are going back to their routines with World Cup memory in their hearts. “I don’t know how I managed to work for the last 4 weeks,” said Kim Suk-kyu, a 32-year-old office worker. “I hope everyone of us will do our best for the role we play do, and continue the rally that surprised the world.”

“Young students who learned to become one through street cheering will help and understand each other more when they go back to homes and schools,” said Kim Ho-gi, a sociology professor at Yonsei University. “We must turn this sense of pride into driving force of development when we are back to our daily life.”

Min-Hyuk Park mhpark@donga.com