Korean-born American skier seeks biological parents

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Korean-born American skier seeks biological parents

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The Korean-born American freestyle skier Toby Dawson, who is competing in mogul events in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, posted childhood photographs on NBC television’s Web site in the hopes of finding his biological parents. Dawson, who is making his Olympic debut, is ranked fourth in the world.
Mogul skiing is a discipline that involves skiing down a run that has hard snow mounds as obstacles on the slope.
Dawson, 27, has posted a dozen pictures on the NBC site including one taken at the time he was adopted. There are also pictures of Dawson skiing and participating in ski competitions.
Born on Nov. 30, 1978, in Korea, he was adopted when he was three years old by Mike and Deborah Dawson, both ski instructors from Vail, Colorado. Nothing confirms his birth date, however, and his birthday is listed as the day he was brought to the orphanage. There he was given a name, Soo-chul.
Dawson repeatedly told the media and through the U.S. Olympic Committee Web site that he was looking for his biological parents.
He visited Korea three times last year ― once for a competition and twice just to visit.
Dawson said he has no memories of the time before he was adopted except for one thing. He had a Korean birthday and presumably his mother took the door off a closet to make a table, with bricks laid on the floor to support it. Then he wore Korean traditional clothes and ate Korean food with his friends.
Dawson’s parents sent him to three- or four-day camps during the summer for adopted children from South Korea and other Asian countries. He now volunteers at the Heritage Camp every year, trying to help other adopted children.
When he was young, Dawson had difficulty accepting his background as he realized that he was different from any of his friends. “We had a lot of friends, but we didn’t look like any of our friends,” he said in an interview.
He participated in a ski competition for the first time when he was six. He switched to freestyle skiing after he was introduced to the sport in his early teens.
Since winning a bronze medal in both mogul events at the 2003 World Championships, he placed second in the World Cup standings in 2004, and took fifth place at the 2005 World Cup.
Dawson’s pictures are at: www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/5058549/detail.html


by Limb Jae-un, Sung Baik-you
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