[EDITORIALS]Skating to gloryKorean short track speed skaters have made Olympic history. These atheletes were the reason for South Korea’s seventh-place finish in the medal standings at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, which ended today. Of the eight gold medals contended, the Koreans brought home six. Along with the three silvers and one bronze, Korea once again showed the world that it is the best at the event. Even the Xinhua News Agency in China, a country that now rivals Korea in the event, wrote that when it comes to short track speed skating, “South Korea is the world’s only superpower.”
Records like the fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the women’s 3,000-meter relay for Jin Sun-yu and the three gold medals for Ahn Hyun-soo will go down in Olympic history as great feats. The fact that most of the victories were come-from-behind wins doubled the delight of the Korean people who stayed up late to watch. We sincerely congratulate the young athletes for their admirable feats and for allowing the Korean people to feel proud, and would also like to give a round of applause to officials at the Korea Skating Union and the coaching staff for supporting and guiding the players.
Korea, however, must not be content with its victories. The festival at Turin is history; there are many things that must be dealt with in order to maintain our dominance in the field. The factional rivalry and beating of atheletes that broke out right before the Olympics must not happen again. The coaches must also keep in mind that modern athletes do not appreciate harsh training methods and physical punishment.
Another goal is to reduce our reliance on short track speed skating, as Korea seeks to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Two examples are the good showings by Japan in ski jumping and figure skating, and China’s gold medal in men’s aerials. We need more support and more athletes in other events. Now is the time to prepare for the Vancouver games, four years away.