[EDITORIALS]More support for sportsThe Athens Olympic Games have ended. We must not forget the silver medal won by the Korean women’s handball team, which thrilled the nation on the last day of the games. The spirit of our players was more meaningful than winning a gold medal, because they achieved second place despite a poor environment; Korea does not even have a professional handball team.
Public indifference should not be repeated, the coach said. As he wishes, we should show more support to our young handball players. We have cheered for the players during a game, but quickly forget about them after an event ends. Unless we show continuous support, the young female handball players will inevitably remain in the shade. Schools should teach handball more actively, and companies and local governments should operate professional teams.
Despite fears of terrorism, the Olympic games ended safely. The games proceeded relatively smoothly despite poor preparation; some stadiums were not even completed before the games began.
But the Olympics, which returned to their birthplace after 108 years, were marred by scandalous refereeing and repeated discoveries of athletes who had failed doping tests. The games finally faced an ugly ending because of an intruder in the marathon race.
Where can we find the spirit of the Olympics, which can be summarized as fair play and impartial refereeing? The controversy that Korea’s Yang Tae-young was not awarded a gold medal in all-around men’s gymnastics due to a judging error has not yet been resolved. We urge the Court of Arbitration for Sports to review Mr. Yang’s case as soon as possible. The chairman of the International Gymnastics Federation has already admitted the judging error, asking the American gold medalist Paul Hamm to yield the gold to Mr. Yang. We hope a positive decision is made for Mr. Yang.
Countries actively engaged in sports, such as the United States, Australia and Japan, won many medals. South Korea was ranked ninth, showing potential. To achieve better results at the Olympics, it is important to foster a sports elite at the national level. But it is more critical to pay attention to sports in everyday life to build a large pool of players. We hope Korea demonstrates the spirit of the women’s handball team in all the events at the Beijing games.