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Sports, Families, Hopes, and Passion, Connected

Friday, February 9, 2018

AngelaAre you a sports enthusiast? Whether it's the Superbowl cheering for my home team (Go Eagles!) or cheering on my daughter running a race against her dad, I am always up for a good game. This week, the world's best athletes have gathered in Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 23rd Winter Olympics. To the athletes, their hopes and dreams of becoming the best are about to unfold. As the spectators, we are about to witness their accomplishments and cheer for our teams. I am especially excited about this year's Winter Olympics because it's taking place in South Korea where my family is from. This Winter Olympics is significant, as two Koreas will march together under the Unification Flag to represent all of Korea. Also, in a historical first, there will be a joint women's ice hockey team with athletes from North and South Korea playing together. Even with the excitement of the games, there are also a lot of concerns and controversies especially with security and North Korea.

Despite all this political turmoil, there are many South Koreans who are looking forward to seeing the unified Koreas, even if it is just for this Olympics. My grandfather who lives in South Korea is one of them. Like many in his generation, he moved down to the South during the Korean War. As the eldest son, he left his family, promising them that he would come back for them once he settled in the South. However, he wasn't able to keep his promise before the cease-fire was declared in 1953 and he never saw his parents and siblings again. I remember seeing my grandfather longing for his family in the North and hopes of seeing them one day. He is now 91 years old.

When the 6th graders sang Arirang for the Festival of Lights in December, it brought me to tears that this meaningful song was presented to the Burgundy community. Tonight during the opening ceremony, we will hear that same song as the two Koreas walk under the Unification Flag. I don't know what the 2018 Winter Olympics would bring to the two Koreas. But as the 2018 Winter Olympics slogan — Passion, Connected — states, my hope is that passion for sports will connect people around the world to inspire our future generation to never give up their hopes and dreams.