Children shall lead them

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Children shall lead them

There are some scenes that you never get tired of watching. The moment when the Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan won in the World Swimming Championships is one of them.
After turning fourth with 50 meters left, the 18-year-old swimmer surged ahead to win the race. His victory in the men’s 400-meter freestyle left a big mark on Korean sports history. The day before Tae-hwan won the race, Kim Yu-na,in spite of backpain, won a bronze medal at the World Figure Skating Championships. That also is a splendid achievement that will be remembered forever in the country’s sports history.
Young people have been creating legends in fields that we have long considered weak spots for Koreans. They go beyond the field of sports. The younger generation is making great achievements in other fields such as science and art. We can be confident that the future of Korea is very bright.
At times a pupil outperforms his master, and we are very proud that our young generation is outperforming former generations.
Tae-hwan and Yu-na are of a generation raised in affluence, particularly compared to older generations. They are different from older athletes who used to move the people because they lived in poverty and went through hardship before they surged to victories. The young athletes were able to dominate the world stage because their talent and indulgence were coupled with and enhanced by their parents’ support.
All Korean parents’ sweat, tears and sacrifice lie in the background of their success.
The mother of Yu-na wanted to become a figure skater but she gave up her dream because there were few indoor ice rinks at that time and it cost a lot to take lessons.
Thanks to the financial power that the parents’ generation gained over the last half century, the young generation is not intimidated by athletes from advanced countries.
The achievements of these two athletes are also the result of globalization. They could develop rapidly because young athletes now can have foreign coaches or they can go abroad for training. Tae-hwan studied English when he was busy at the training camp in Taenung, Seoul.
Not only sportsmen but also others in different sectors need to make efforts to boost competitiveness on the global stage.
People in other sectors should invite foreigners to Korea or visit them more often. The cases of the two youngsters shows what Korea has accomplished and where it should head in the future.
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