Truck Driver's Daughter Captures First Gold Medal in Sydney"My daughter made it! Oh, I'm so pround of you, my daughter! After all those years, you made it through!"
Yoon Mi-jin's house in Suwon was full of excitement and tears on the afternoon of Sept. 19. Yoon's mother Kim Kyung-hee could not stop her tears as she watched her 17-year-old daughter Mi-jin winning the gold medal in women's archery, the first gold for Korea at the Sydney games.
"I couldn't even fix her breakfast the day she left for Sydney, because I had to go to work. But, she made it by herself! I'm so proud of her."
Mi-jin's father, Yoon Chang-duk, who drives trucks for a living, could not join the excitement with his family in front of the television. A day's pay was just too important to his poor family. Mi-jin's father was working at a construction site as usual when his daughter won the gold medal.
"I just couldn't see my baby girl competing against other athletes by herself in a far-off foreign land. Oh, how I wished I had enough money to support her."
Meanwhile, Kyonggi Athlete's High School, of which Mi-jin is a student, was full of excitement. When Mi-jin was confirmed as the gold medalist, the teachers cheered and her classmates hugged each other, overwhelmed with joy.
"I've always been so proud of Mi-jin," said Chang Hyo-jun, vice-principal of the school. "She is a person of strong will. She's been doing her best in her training, and getting good grades in her courses too."
by Jung Chang-min