Go to contents

"We can Do Anything We Hope for"

Posted June. 26, 2002 22:48,   


"I`ve never known that soccer can give us confidence and excitement," said Kim Hye-gyeong, 22, who has volunteered as a guide and assistant administrator at the volunteers` center in the Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul for the past month.

Kim, a junior in Kwangwoon University majering in computer engineering, was still excited even a day after Korea`s match against Germany..

She decided to work as a volunteer for the World Cup when she heard that Korea would co-host the 2002 World Cup games with Japan. She was a high school senior and wanted to make unforgettable memories during the World Cup.

Since then she had eagerly waited for the advertisement for voluntary workers and became one of them after surviving a competition where 9 out of 10 applicants had to go home.

But being a voluntary worker was a lot tougher that she bargained for.

When the opening ceremony of the World Cup was being held in the Sangam stadium, she even had to dispute with a person, who identified himself as an aide to a lawmaker and got in the stadium without an admission ticket.

She once had to wipe off her tears spurred by chagrin when some media criticized that voluntary workers did not work and only tried to get autographs of players.

But for the most part she felt that her efforts paid off. After she politely gave an old foreign lady a direction in her poor English, the old lady thanked her. When foreign media reported that Korea has successfully hosted the World Cup, she took pride in doing her job.

She was happiest when Korea played against Germany in its semifinal on the 25th.

She couldn`t get in the stadium and even see Korean players on that day, but she felt great joy.

Because she did not even imagine before the World Cup kicked off that the Korean squad could go to the semifinals. Of course she began to cherish a lay of hope after the Korean team defeat Poland, Portugal and Italy one after another.

She said that she would be actively engaged in voluntary work whenever possible.

She added, "Watching the players fighting on turf, I realized that we can do anything we hope for. Being present at the historic site will be a great encouragement for my future."

Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com