[EDITORIALS]Kudos to the athletes“South Koreans again dominate archery,” foreign media reported as Korea captured both the gold and silver medals in the women’s individual archery competition at the 2004 Olympic Games. Winning the sixth straight Olympic titles since 1984 in the event is a splendid achievement. At the moment, the nation has probably forgotten its troubles and worries ― Typhoon Megi’s threat to the southern coast and the Gangwon area, the hot and humid weather and the lie and hypocritical behavior of the ruling party leader, whose father was a collaborator with the Japanese colonial government.
The Athens Olympics has a very important meaning. The games returned to the city of the gods, where the first Olympics in modern times took place 108 years ago. For the first time in the International Olympic Committee’s history, all 202 member countries of the world sports body attended the games.
The world has fallen into a swirl of discord, conflict and hatred due to the fear of terrorism and the war in Iraq, triggered by the clash of Islamic and Christian civilizations. Amid such turmoil, the world’s iron-legged youths have joined the games, giving us a message that the human race still has hope.
The two Koreas’ players marched together, as they did at the Sydney Olympics, wearing the same uniforms under the Korean Peninsula flag. We are proud to declare our intention of reconciliation and peace to the world. Furthermore, the International Olympic Committee has promised to support the formation of a unified team of the two Koreas in the 2008 Beijing games. Through sports, the two Koreas’ cooperation will deepen.
Above all, the best joy of the Olympics comes from watching our players’ good fights. Despite the six-hour time difference, the nation stays up to cheer for the Korean players, because our teams are doing their best. Korea advanced to the soccer quarterfinals for the first time in 56 years. For the first time, Korea won silver and bronze medals in men’s gymnastics. Korea won its first silver and bronze medals in women’s trap shooting. At those moments, we could not stop our thunderous rounds of applause.
For the next 10 days, the Olympic torch will stay lit. We wish the best of Korean players, hoping for more news of gold medals. We also hope the Olympics end peacefully, with no terrorist acts.