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Togolese Youth Sees His First Snow

Posted February. 08, 2006 04:30,   


Malik never saw snow in his life before coming to Korea.

After arriving at Yongpyeong Resort in Gangwon Province as Korea’s guest, he saw it, walked on it, and skied on it.

His 11-year-old face was smiling. The snow and the skiing seemed quite strange to him. But with every fall on the snow, there was laughter.

Malik is from the small country of Togo located near the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The Korean national soccer team will play Togo in its first 2006 Germany World Cup match.

Malik’s visit to Korea was made possible thanks to The Dream Program, sponsored by Gangwon Province. Gangwon hopes to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. This promotional event was designed to invite youths from countries where their native climates do not allow them to enjoy winter sports. The event marks its third anniversary this year; and invitations went out to 118 participants from 30 different countries, including Togo, Senegal, and Syria.

Like other Togolese boys, Malik dreams of becoming a soccer star. His hero is the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo.

Malik is a pretty good skier for someone who has never skied before. “I like it very much. I want to practice more and get really good at skiing,” he said.

Malik will take ski lessons until February 17. After that, he will participate in a cultural exchange program with youths from other nations.

Maybe eight years from now, Malik will meet Koreans again in the World Cup main round as a soccer player. He will remember Korea as the country where he saw snow for the first time.